Resources for Children, Youth, and Families

Submitted on Saturday, 01/18/2020 - 4:42 am
  • Positive encouragement can go a long way with a child. When you notice your child doing something well, make sure you let them know it. This can help boost their self-esteem and encourage positive behaviours. A simple “good job” can show them that you noticed the good behaviour and that you appreciate it.
  • To help avoid power struggles, give your child choices that, regardless of the choice the child makes, you can accept. After giving the choices, step away from the situation and allow your child time to consider the choices and make a decision. This empowers them and allows them to make their own decisions while still following your instructions.
  • Prior to going to an event with your child, set up clear expectations with your kids; will they have a treat or not; how long are you planning to stay at the event; what are the expectations with respect to staying close to you at the event, and what is the consequence if they don’t stay close to you; what are the expectations when everyone returns home, do chores still need to be done? Be clear on what you expect of them and what they can expect of you. Have Fun!
  • When your child is engaging in a conversation with you, remember to try these steps to listening:
    1. Stop what you are doing
    2. Look at your child
    3. Identify/validate with their feelings
    4. Respond to Content
  • Family meals can be a time to strengthen family ties and help keep you up to date on your children’s lives. Meals together can actually lead to better physical and mental health. Try implementing meals together one to two days a week (without distractions such as television).
  • Your own actions are your greatest tool to teach and shape your child into the person you hope they become. Practice what you preach. Your child will learn to cope (regulate their emotions) through watching how you cope (regulate your emotions).

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

Below are tools which can help people cope with their mental well-being during times of stress, such as COVID-19.

Using Social Emotional Learning to Help in Times of Stress

Stress can be defined as the physical, behavioural and mental responses we have to perceived threat of our safety and well-being. While stress, in smaller doses, allow us to become more focused and attuned to things around us, stress in higher doses or for prolonged periods can be counterproductive to our daily routines and relationships. Adults and children alike can become overly sensitive and reactive in times of heightened stress. Social emotional competencies can help us regain an improved sense of calm, of ‘team’, and certain aspects of control.

Click here: SEL in Times of Stress – COVID-19

Psychological Coping during a Pandemic

Pandemics, like COVID-19, challenge the way people cope. During a pandemic it’s not uncommon to experience strong emotions. Psychology helps us to understand normal responses to abnormal events – this can help Albertans cope. Novel & unfamiliar threats provoke anxiety & even unrealistic fears & racism. Social distancing, effective communication, & public health measures are realistic lines of defense.

Click here: 2020 March PAA Psychological Health in Pandemics

Resources for Youth or Families in Distress

Distress Centre

403.266.HELP (4357)
Click here to access the website 

The Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) has provided 24 hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970. They do this through their 24 hour crisis line, email, daily chat, and daily text for our youth. They also have professional counselling for clients with issues that cannot be resolved over the phone. If you need help finding a social, community or government service, 211 is available by phone and online chat. Their Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) program serves Calgarians experiencing homelessness out of the Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre (SORCe). All their services are free.

Alberta 211

Dial 2-1-1 or call toll-free 1-888-482-4696 (Edmonton & Northern Alberta), 1-855-266-1605 (Calgary, Central & Southern Alberta)
Click here to access the website 

11 is a helpline and online database of Alberta’s community and social services. 211 is answered and updated by highly-trained specialists.

Other Resources

A graphic illustration created by John Rattrey and Jon Horner about the Neurosequential Model concepts and skateboarding