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Fairbanks resource center talks mental health advice for youth during pandemic

(KTVF)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 4:29 PM AKDT
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With many days passing by with people at home due to the novel coronavirus, talk about mental health is coming up more and more.

"Isolation is a symptom of depression, and we are asked to isolate. Whether that's individuals, kids or whomever, we are all being asked to isolate," said Behavioral Clinical Health Supervisor Leigh Bolin.

The Resource Center for Parents and Children (RCPC) has provided some guidelines on how to talk to your children about COVID-19, anxiety and suicide prevention.

Here are some pointers from RCPC

-Remember the importance of accurate information.

-Clarify misinformation and reassure kids of safety measures.

-Don't over explain it and revisit the conversation to ensure they understand.

-Avoid promises -- for example, don't promise that they won't get it.

"It is really important that we kind of create a safe space where people feel they can come forward and talk about their feelings," said Bolin. "People who normally feel anxiety or depression are feeling that way right now. Also people that do have a history of anxiety and depression have exacerbated symptoms."

Remember to call a family member or friend as Leigh Bolin said.

"The thing with this is that it is global pandemic and we are all in this together," said Bolin. "We're not alone on how we feel. You can reach out to family member or a friend."

The Alaska Careline is 877-266-HELP or you can text them '4help' to 839-863. The Parent Hotline is 907-456-9099.

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