The safety, health and well-being of our public school employees, students and families has emerged as a critical concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health is paramount in the current climate, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Virtual recently announced free mental health resources for students, families and educators.
‘Stay Home, Stay MIndful’
In April, Gov. Whitmer announced the “Stay Home, Stay MIndful” website, www.headspace.com/MI, where visitors can access free mental health resources during the pandemic. The website, which provides meditation and mindfulness content, was developed with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation. The website provides access to science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home workouts that guide people through mindful exercises, sleep and content for students to help curtail stress and anxiety.
Also in April, Michigan Virtual and the State of Michigan announced Michigan Cares. The program offers free digital lessons focused on developing social, emotional and mental well-being skills during the pandemic. The program is intended to help K-12 students understand how to take control of their mental health, including coping with strong emotions and anxiety. The lessons also help students continue to develop digital citizenship and stress management skills, and promote awareness of cyberbullying. Digital companion guides support educators and parents by providing talking points about each topic.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control offers information and tools for understanding COVID-19 stressors and how to cope.
- “Warmline” connects Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions to certified peer support specialists. The warmline is available 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week at 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753).