Kids & COVID-19: Mental Health Night with SWIS

Sarah Ahsan SWIS News

“When stress overwhelms their ability to cope, the behavior of kids (and adults) can be challenging. The webinar explores ways to foster resilience in children and youth by understanding their stress responses, being curious about the needs underneath the stress, and supporting them to get their needs met in helpful ways.” – Karen B. Hawley

Kids & COVID-19: Mental Health Night with SWIS was a group virtual event held in partnership between TDSB Queen Victoria Public School and CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, on February 25th, 2021. This was a very important group event and a successful one for our newcomer parents from Queen Victoria Public School. Parents connected with kids and the community at large from other local schools who attended as well.

Mental Health in the Tibetan community as a whole is a complex subject that is not fully understood, in fact often misunderstood. Our presenter Karen Brozina Hawley, a clinical psychologist and a Queen Victoria mom broke down the topic for our parents helping them understand the emotional and mental stresses that kids and parents go through. Karen explored ways to unlearn and address these stresses in kids explaining how parents can help mitigate the issues and cope with the challenges.

Karen’s presentation was greatly received by all parents who appreciated her slow and deliberate emphasis on the subject. The parents in turn shared their stories and experiences and asked questions. It was undeniably a great learning and sharing experience for all.

This virtual group session was attended by two Vice Principals from Queen Victoria School who welcomed the parents. The incredible support from the school administration towards the virtual event was a great factor in the success of the event.

The virtual event was for two hours but the icing on the cake was when parents wanted to stay longer to talk more with the SWIS worker. That one extra hour helped forge connections, understand needs, issues and concerns for future planning. We ended on a promise to meet again!