Mental health and virtual learning: Steps parents can take to keep students safe

BECKLEY WV (WVVA) – With many schools in the region doing virtual or remote learning, it is especially important for parents to monitor their children’s mental health.

Students being isolated from their classroom, routine, activities and friends could have a serious toll on their mental health.

Dr. Kristi Dumas, a local mental health therapist, said there are steps both parents and teachers can take to help their students such as utilizing technology.However, the most important step they can take is having in depth, meaningful conversations with their students.

“There are a couple of things parents can do, one is increase communication,” said Dumas. “How was your day is just not going to be enough right now. [Parents need to be] really asking them what is going on in their classes, where they may be having challenges, how they’re feeling and really trying to normalize that feeling of grief and loss and of being disconnected.”

Parents are also encouraged to find safe activities for their kids to do outside of the home and find learning and mental health apps.