Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center Recognizes Importance of Mental Health Awareness with Stress Tips and Coping Mechanisms for Families and Children

July 01, 2021

Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, the region’s leading resource to prevent abuse, protect children and heal families, is recognizing the importance of mental health with resources to help the community identify and manage stress and anxiety, brought upon by current environments or past traumas. Dee Norton’s coping resources also include methods that can help reduce stress related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its residual effects.

 

“The past year triggered a ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode in all of us that makes processing thoughts and feelings harder to manage,” said Beverly Hutchison, Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. “The added isolation has made it even more important for people to share how they feel and reach out for support if they are distressed.”

 

Studies indicate that children who have experienced abuse or trauma are at increased risk for developing emotional and behavioral difficulties. Additionally, trauma and stress are cumulative – meaning that experiencing ongoing stressors, such as a pandemic makes adjusting to additional stress and trauma more difficult.

 

“Children are not the only ones experiencing significant stress during this time. At Dee Norton, we understand it is important to help parents manage their anxiety and stress to model effective coping for their children,” said Hutchison.

 

The following recommendations may help a family manage stress:
  • Talk openly about feelings. Keeping communication channels open and always reassure children that they can come to you with their emotions.
  • Follow a routine. When children follow a routine, they thrive. Routines keep the stress and uncertainty that occur in their everyday lives to a minimum.
  • Take a break from the news. Information overload can be overwhelming. Try to switch off your screen once in a while.
  • Take care of your body. Meditate, eat well-balanced meals, take deep breaths. Aside from staying safe, stay healthy.

  • Make time to unwind. Make time in your day to do something you enjoy.

  • Connect with others. Talk to people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Dee Norton’s efforts to help the community include a Mindfulness Minutes series offering coping tools for families to reduce stress.
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