Whole Child Support and Social-Emotional Health

Whole Child Supports are services that promote physical and social-emotional health, safety and well-being. These services are delivered by Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) – which consists of school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses.

Whole Child Supports include:

  • Teaching students how to understand and manage their emotions
  • Expanding healthy coping strategies and building resilience
  • Assisting students with creating and sustaining healthy relationships
  • Helping students learn how to establish and reach positive goals
  • Consulting with teachers and families on the health, safety, and emotional well-being of students
  • Offering individual and small group counseling sessions through virtual service delivery
  • Providing family supports/trainings to address mental health needs
  • Providing prevention and response services for crises and emergencies

Helping Children Cope with Changes in Routines 

We recognize that this is an uncertain and challenging time for students and families. Anxiety is a natural response to change for children and adults, especially when our sense of control is low. In addition, new experiences and new routines can also create a sense of apprehension for parents and children as we return to school. 

It is important to remember that children are resilient. They will naturally look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful situations.  It is imperative that parents encounter children and acknowledge their concerns without fostering a sense of panic in them. 

Teaching children adaptive skills will give them some sense of control and may help reduce their anxiety (as well as other strong unwanted emotional responses). Families and school staff can model compassion, flexibility and the ability to solve problems.

Here are some things you can do to help increase your child’s sense of psychological safety (informed by the National Association of School Psychologists): 

Stay Calm, Listen, and Offer Reassurance

Caring adults have a tremendous influence on children. It is important that we address their concerns with an awareness of our own emotional responses. 

Be a Role Model

Children will react to and follow our reactions. Remember that they are observing and learning from the example we set.

Maintain a Healthy Routine

Keeping a regular schedule provides children with a sense of control, predictability, and calm. 

Monitor Viewing of Media and Social Media 

Continuously watching news reports on television related to COVID-19 can increase fear and anxiety. In addition, social media has become a source of rumor and misinformation that requires parent attention and correction.

Explain Simple Safety Tips

Stay up-to-date on facts related to the virus and ensure your children remain aware of the things they can do to decrease the risk of infection and transmission. The CDC offers information at this site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Take Time to Talk

Let your children’s questions guide your conversation. Answer their questions truthfully in an age appropriate fashion without unnecessary details. 

Reach Out for Help

If you or a loved one need ongoing support, please call the North Carolina Department of Health and Humas Services Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463). The help line is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days a week, this number connects North Carolinians to mental health and resilience supports to help them cope during stressful times.

For more information, visit www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us/schoolhealth