This pandemic has placed stress on everyone, including child care workers, children, and families. Austin Public Health would therefore like to share some mental health resources with child care programs. We strongly encourage providers to make information about mental health supports such as the following readily, regularly, and widely available to staff and families.
Children’s Mental Health Tip Sheet for Parents
Integral Care created a tip sheet for parents to give them ideas of ways to support their child’s mental health. It is called a “Back to School Tips- Top 10 List (Mental Health Edition)” and was created with school-age children in mind. Nevertheless, the tips are also great for parents of younger children during this time in which the pandemic is causing extra stress and anxiety for people of all ages. The tip sheet is available in both English and Spanish.
Suicide Prevention Videos
Suicide numbers for ages 10-24 have been on the rise since 2007. Integral Care recently produced 4 new short videos addressing teen depression and suicide. One video is for teens, the other for a parent/teacher audience. Both are in English and Spanish. The videos dig into the warning signs and how to reach out for help.
Mental Health Call Lines
Please share the following call lines with staff and families:
- Integral Care’s 24/7 HELPLINE at 512-472-HELP (4357) for immediate support in a mental health crisis from a mental health professional.
- Based on the nature of the call, hotline staff can direct callers (whether students, school staff, or parents) on the appropriate crisis services, including dispatching our mobile crisis intake team. Helpline staff can also help callers get appointments.
- Call 9-1-1 and ask for a mental health officer
- Texas HHSC COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-986-1919 to speak with a mental health professional for help dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, grief, or worry – Available 24/7
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Report COVID-19 Cases Immediately
Finally, as a reminder, once you are aware a child or employee at your operation tests positive for COVID-19, you must:
- Report the case(s) to APH. To do so, email
ChildCareInfo@austintexas.gov and request a call back or call the APH nurse line at 512-972-5560. Do not include identifying information about the COVID-positive individuals in your email.
- Report the case to Child Care Regulation.
- Notify all parents in writing and within 48 hours of becoming aware that a child or employee has COVID-19. Remember to maintain the confidentiality of those with COVID-19.
THANK YOU for your help in spreading the word to staff and families about mental health resources and for continuing to report COVID-19 cases! We appreciate your partnership in working to keep our child care community safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Austin Public Health