DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With kids staying home from school and some student events now canceled, officials with Montgomery County ADAMHS say local school districts and treatment centers have received more calls from parents regarding their children’s mental health.
According to Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director, Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services is working with providers and other local organizations to make more resources available to parents and students.
“What are some of the programs that we can, A: Put online virtually for families, or what are some of the other things that our providers can do to assist both the schools and parents?” Jones-Kelley said.
As classrooms remain empty for the rest of the school year, parents across the Miami Valley are trying to keep their kids active while they’re learning at home.
“It is not just schoolwork, to be honest,” said Norman Scearce, a father of three who is also a Trotwood-Madison school board member. “We keep them engaged by gardening, yard work, hands-on activities.”
Jones-Kelley said it’s important to continue those types of family activities.
“This is a great time to pull out some of those old-fashioned card games like Old Maid, Go Fish,” she said.
Jones-Kelley suggests families try to keep a routine at home when possible. She advises parents to supervise their children’s computer use as they continue their education online.
Jones-Kelley also recommends parents talk to their kids about the pandemic and look out for any changes in a child’s routine or behavior.
It’s also a good idea for parents to try to help their kids stay connected to their friends, Jones-Kelley said.
“We went to see my son’s preschool teacher just to stop by and say ‘hey’ because she lives in the neighborhood and he misses her, and I’m sure she misses all of them, so that was kind of nice,” Scearce said.
The Miami Valley Warmline remains open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., to take calls from those seeking mental health support, according to ADAMHS officials. Anyone interested may call 937-528-7777.