Hamilton County Job & Family Services has been working for several months with people from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Cincinnati Public Schools on some new ways to bring attention to the stress a lot of families are feeling these days – and to some things everyone can do to help. The new campaign is called Safe and Sound @ Home Cincinnati.
During a press conference announcing the collaboration, Interim Director Tim McCartney had this to say:
“Child abuse is already under-reported in normal times. During the shutdown, Children’s Services saw a 40% drop in calls about abuse and neglect. While reporting has increased since then, calls are still down from normal levels. Given the stress, anxiety and hardships surrounding the pandemic, we want to offer a collaborative approach to families by letting them know that we are here for them.”
To read more about the announcement, below is the text of a press release sent out announcing the work:
With the school year underway, parents are facing many challenges. It is natural for them to feel stress. Maintaining routines, having fun and using positive language can be helpful. For parents who start to feel anxious, taking a deep breath and talking to trusted family members or friends are great first steps. But if the situation becomes overwhelming, there are resources to help.
To better protect vulnerable children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Hamilton County Job & Family Services and Cincinnati Public Schools are collaborating on a new campaign called Safe and Sound @ Home Cincinnati. The goal is to raise awareness about parenting support and resources available to those in the community who may be struggling.
Support systems are available that can provide help with a variety of services, including food, medical assistance, childcare, housing, utilities, employment, cash and legal aid. However, experts have found some parents have difficulty asking for public benefits.
“Many people find themselves asking for help for the first time ever, and it can feel confusing and uncomfortable,” said Carley Riley, MD, attending physician in the division of Critical Care Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s. “There is no right or wrong way to feel when navigating your way through public assistance. We want to stress there’s no shame in asking for help. Taking care of your family is courageous. It shows strength and resilience.”
Resource guides on who to call for help have been available for the last several months at Cincinnati Public Schools food distribution sites. Public service announcements for Safe and Sound @ Home Cincinnati have also been released recently.
“This collaboration further solidifies the investment we all have in the health and well-being of children,” said Carrie Bunger, PhD, Director of Positive School Culture & Safety at Cincinnati Public Schools. “By working together to support vulnerable families, we can increase the community safety net—especially for those at risk during these challenging times.”
CCHMC also keeps a comprehensive list of resources available for parents and children.
Local Help for Parents and Children
To better protect vulnerable children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati Children’s, Hamilton County Job & Family Services and Cincinnati Public Schools are collaborating on a campaign called Safe and Sound @ Home Cincinnati. The goal is to raise awareness about parenting support and resources available to those in the community who may be struggling.
- Child abuse and domestic violence are under-reported in normal times. During these stressful times, children and their caregivers are at greater risk.
- There are places in the Cincinnati area that provide help with food or medical assistance, child care, housing and utilities, cash and employment and legal aid.
- It’s natural for parents to feel stress, anxiety and worry right now.
Coping with COVID-19
- COVID-19 Sanity Guide: A guide full of practical and actionable ways to manage your sanity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CDC: Mental Health and Coping: Guidelines from the CDC for managing your mental health and engaging in positive coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Psychological Effects of Quarantine During the Coronavirus Outbreak: From the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, what healthcare providers need to know.
- Facing COVID-19 – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A video guide to facing COVID-19 using the framework of acceptance and committed action from Dr. Russ Harris.
- Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe: A guide from the American Psychological Association (APA) to engaging in physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Coping with Stressful News: Seven crucial research findings that can help people deal with COVID-19, from the American Psychological Association, a translation of psychological science on coping with stressful news, and how that can help people to deal with COVID-19.
- Sleep Hygiene: Tips and tricks for getting quality sleep from the Centre for Clinical Interventions.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health: Coping with Anxiety & Depression
- Guide to Living with Anxiety and Worry: A guide for managing anxiety and worry from Dr. Matthew Whalley & Dr. Hardeep Kaur.
- What? Me Worry!?! An overview of what worrying is, what triggers worrying, what keeps it going, and most importantly, how to treat it effectively.
- Postpone Your Worry: This approach involves postponing your worry to a “worry period” that is the same time, place and duration each day.
- Mindfulness Exercises: Patricia Bear, LPC, shares a list of several mindfulness exercises you can practice on your own.
- Tips for Dealing with Mood Issues / Depression: Tips for dealing with low or depressed mood from Dr. Stephen Gans.
- The 3 Happiness Myths: Animated video illustrates the three happiness myths that we have been lead to believe, by Dr. Russ Harris.
- Virtual Recovery Resources: Support for substance misuse from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Parenting during the Pandemic
- Effective Parenting Stress Management: Tips for managing your stress as a parent from the Center for Effective Parenting.
- Downloadable Resources & Strategies: Boys Town offers parenting tips in a variety of topics for use during COVID-19.
- Self-Care in the Time of Coronavirus: The Child Mind Institute provides recommendations for parent self-care, and the whole family will benefit.