New Virtual Workshop for Parents Starts June 9

As summer unofficially begins in the Green Mountains, schools are winding down, vaccination rates are up, and Covid restrictions are lifting. Summer 2021 presents an opportunity for kids of all ages to re-engage with the world. For many parents, that presents a double-edged sword of sorts. Parents may recognize the need for children to return to “normal” (or some new version of it), but worry about their kids’ safety.

Interactive Workshops for Parents Explore Safe Re-Engagement

How can parents navigate these challenges and help their children get the most out of these fleeting summer months? That’s the focus of our newest online workshop, starting June 9. Facilitated by COVID Support VT Clinical Supervisor Cath Burns, Ph.D., in conjunction with two Vermont pediatricians, the interactive workshops will explore how families can best navigate re-engaging with the world.

As a parent, a clinical psychologist who works with Vermont youth, and the Quality Director for Vermont Care Partners, Burns has a unique perspective on the struggles families face. “It’s no secret that the last year has stressed people out – perhaps parents more than anyone,” she says. “We want to hear first-hand what parents’ concerns are now, as summer returns and school obligations subside. What do parents need so they can meet their children’s needs?”

How Can Parents Identify the Warning Signs of Youth Anxiety?

As families re-enter the social world, added stressors may arise for both children and their parents. Maintaining diligence is critical to recognizing any warning signs of mental health challenges children may be experiencing. The Healthy Children website of the American Academy of Pediatrics has resource guides on Parenting During a Pandemic and Signs Your Child May Need Support.

Find Safe Summer Activities for Kids

Fortunately, safe and kid-friendly outdoor activities abound in Vermont. To get inspired, watch a recording of our April Town Hall, Let’s Get Outside: Recreational Opportunities in Vermont. There’s a section on family-focused adventures by Alison Novak, editor of Kids Vermont. Also check out Novak’s Guest Blog where she shares her best child-approved adventures in the Green Mountains. 

Vermont youth have access to a wide range of summer enrichment programs thanks to an infusion of federal and state funding. Learn about available camps, programs and activities offered through the “Summer Matters” program in our recent blog on the topic.

More generally, Consumer Reports has an excellent guide to safe summer activities for kids. The guide reviews how to maintain safety in various types of activities, including kids gathering in groups, visits with relatives, summer camps, and family vacations.

Learn More with Our Resource Guides

Many organizations have compiled valuable information related to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on families. We’ve made it easy to learn more by compiling the best of them in our Parent and Caregiver Covid-19 Resources. There you will find a curated list of authoritative sources for further information on a range of topics.

Also check out Information for Parents and Caregivers from the Vermont Department of Mental Health. This page includes advice on safe activities to do with kids and parental self-care. 

Learn about our other FREE online workshops and discussion groups here.


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Need to Talk? 

Call 2-1-1 (option #2) or 866-652-4636 (option #2) for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling. Our Support Counselors are available Monday – Friday. 

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 agency for 24/7 support. 

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Learn about upcoming Wellness Workshops from COVID Support VT, and Town Halls we’re hosting in partnership with community organizations.

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COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Departments of Emergency Management and 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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