Find Strategies for a Great Start at New Workshop for Parents

Heading back to school is an annual rite of passage that’s typically filled with excitement and anticipation.  Especially after a year of Covid-mandated remote or hybrid learning, in-person schooling offers the promise for new beginnings and rebooted connections, a return to some much-needed normalcy in our kids’ lives. Yet, the reality of this back-to-school year is more complex. 

Parents and kids of all ages are feeling the strain of continued uncertainties coupled with new concerns about the Delta variant. A year and a half of upheaval has left kids isolated, lonely, and lacking social connectedness. Family financial hardships can make students vulnerable to hunger and housing issues. Youth anxiety and depression is steeply rising. Younger and younger kids are dying by suicide. 

Interactive Back-to-School Workshop Starts September 1

In the face of such a bleak mental-health landscape for our state’s youth, what is a parent to do? How can parents best support kids as they navigate the start of a school year that is anything but normal? Where can parents find guidance and support?

A new virtual workshop for parents explores these topics and more. We Can Do This! Helping Parents & Kids Have a Great Start This School Year starts September 1 at 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE

Think Ahead and Be Prepared for Back-to-School

Join COVID Support VT to learn about some of the common reactions parents, caregivers, and kids may experience as schools reopen, from the perspective of mental health and wellness. Participants will leave armed with information about what to watch for in their children, and where to go for help.  

“We know that this year, the back-to-school ritual is different,” says Vermont clinical psychologist Cath Burns, Ph.D. Burns is clinical supervisor for COVID Support VT, quality director of Vermont Care Partners, and the parent of two teenagers. “As parents, we have to think ahead and be prepared to get our kids the support they need.”

“This interactive workshop is a way for us all to share strategies that can help everyone have a great and safe start to the school year.”

~ Cath Burns, Ph.D., COVID Support VT Clinical Supervisor

Find Resources for Back-to-School Wellness

Join our interactive virtual workshop. We Can Do This! Helping Parents & Kids Have a Great Start This School Year starts September 1 at 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE.

Preparing for Back to School Success, from the Child Mind Institute, has practical guidance for navigating these unprecedented times.

Mental Health America offers a free back-to-school toolkit, Facing Fears, Supporting Students, which aims to help students, parents, and school personnel recognize how feeling unsafe can impact mental health and school performance, and what can be done to help young people who are struggling with their mental health.

Read Going Back to School During Delta, by Vermont pediatric critical care specialist Rebecca Bell. M.D. Bell is the current chair of the Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a strong advocate for universal masking at school. 

Watch an August 18 Facebook live Q&A with UVM pediatricians Rebecca Bell and Lewis First. The Q&A covered topics such as universal masking at school, what’s the hold-up with vaccines for children under 12, and what to do if your child is sick. 

For Kids: Stand Up to Stress! is a coloring and activity book for kids ages 8-12, from the National Institute for Mental Health. This free, printable coloring and activity book teaches children about stress and anxiety and offers tips for coping in a healthy way.

Find more tips and resources in our other parenting blogs – see suggestions below, or search for parenting in the search box.

Blog written by Brenda Patoine on behalf of VCN/Vermont Care Partners for COVID Support Vermont, a grant funded by FEMA and the Vermont Department of Mental Health

Need to Talk?

Call 2-1-1 (in Vermont) for assistance.

In Crisis? 

If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825; text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health center for 24/7 support. 

Find Help

Find resources and tools for coping with stress at

One-click translation to 100 languages of most everything on the website, plus Multilingual Resources.

Find your local community mental health center by visiting Vermont Care Partners.

COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Department of Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports. 

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