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Life Interrupted: In the same storm but not in the same boat

Why do adults put their oxygen masks on before children on airplanes? How can we talk to children about the pandemic? Can we manage the anxiety that we may be feeling? Can the pandemic be explained in terms of loss and grief?

These are some of the questions the Rainbow District School Board’s Mental Health Team will explore in an upcoming presentation for parents/guardians of children in Rainbow Schools. The virtual presentation will support parents/guardians as their children transition back to school whether learning in class or online.

“Life Interrupted: A Pathway Toward Resilience and Growth” will take place on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 7 pm. To take part, parents will require a device, an Internet connection and a Gmail account. The deadline to register online at bit.ly/rdsblifeinterrupted is noon on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

“Put on your own oxygen mask first, so you can support your children,” says Mental Health Lead Mary Jago. “Taking care of yourself helps you to take care of your children.” She adds: “Our children are not always the best listeners, but they are great imitators.”

The Mental Health Team will share strategies on how parents/guardians can be kinder and more compassionate towards themselves, focus on what’s happening in the moment, find joy in difficult times, be empathetic listeners, cultivate calmness, take things slowly, and manage anxiety.

“COVID-19 has shown us that there is much that is out of our control and has forced us to get out of our comfort zone,” says Jago. “Recognizing what’s in our control and responding with purpose builds resiliency.”

“We have been valiant in our efforts to learn to adapt, live and socialize in different ways,” she says. “The whole world has experienced a collective loss. Our shared experience is called COVID-19 but it looks and feels differently for all of us.”

During the presentation, participants will gain strategies for talking and listening to children as they navigate potential grief and loss that may be experienced during a pandemic.

“As we resume teaching and learning through the backdrop of a global pandemic, student well-being and achievement continues to be a primary focus,” says Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “I extend special thanks to our staff who continue to engage families in creative ways with content that is relevant and timely.”

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Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171 ext. 7217.