Helping couples and families manage the psychological effects of pandemics
During this difficult time, Div. 43 recognized that couples and families may be facing specific challenges related to COVID-19.
To assist couples, families and psychologists who work with them, Div. 43 has compiled the resources below. You may also find additional information on APA’s parenting and caregiving resources page as well as on APA’s information hub about COVID-19.
How to talk to children about COVID-19 and physical distancing
The following resources are provided by Div. 43 to assist parents and other caregivers in discussing the importance of physical distancing with kids.
- Parents and COVID-19: Helping your children
- Harvard Health Publishing (for children)
- Harvard Health Publishing (for teens)
- National Association of School Psychologists
- Sesame Street Caring for Each Other
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
- COVIBOOK: This short book was written to support and reassure children, under the age of seven, regarding the COVID-19. It is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation.
- Psychological first aid for children and parents: Helping you and your child in times of disaster
- Tips from children to make home life easier during social distancing and confinement
Resources for caregivers
Whether caring for a spouse, parent, child, relative or friend, these resources can provide advice, assistance and additional resources.
- Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers: COVID-19 resources
- Calming anxious kids
- Stop face touching
- Getting children to exercise
- Grief for two: How spouses can mourn COVID-19 losses together
- How caregivers can feel calm and competent during the pandemic
- Why couples need more, not less, togetherness during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Keeping caregiver spirits high during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Caregivers and COVID-19: Dealing with forced isolation
Building family resilience
The Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois offers resources to help families increase their capacity to cope with stress in times of adversity. New evidence-based briefs are published online every Wednesday.
Child and teen COVID-19 telebehavioral information and other resources
Family psychologists working with children and teens during the pandemic are facing unique challenges and opportunities to connect with patients. Div. 43 recommends the resources below for family psychologists, as well as other psychologists working with children, adolescents and young adults.
Telebehavioral health practicing guidelines
The resources below can assist psychologists while working with children and teens via telehealth by outlining best practices.
Trauma recovery for youth with developmental disabilities
Supporting trauma recovery for youth with developmental disabilities: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Northwell Health provide a guide for psychologists working with children and teens with disabilities. The guide may be particularly useful and relevant to psychologists at this time as they transition to providing telemental health services to children with disabilities.
- Overview guide (PDF, 151KB)
- Expert advice and general resources (PDF, 101KB)
- Tools for helping children cope (PDF, 111KB)
- Access to Internet, health, education, and other special needs services (PDF, 105KB)
- Tools for maintaining skills and behavior (PDF, 101KB)
- Activities for learning and fun (PDF, 121KB)
Telebehavioral health activity ideas
The following activities and games may spark ideas for psychologists seeking creative ways to connect with child and teen patients remotely.
The resources listed below can assist psychologists in explaining and discussing COVID-19 with children and teens:
- National Association of School Psychologists: Helping children cope with changes resulting from COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Talking with children about coronavirus disease 2019
- Sesame Street: Caring for each other
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Finding the right words to talk with children and teens about coronavirus (PDF, 208KB)
The following books can be an excellent method for sparking conversations about COVID-19 in age-appropriate ways:
- APA's Magination Press: Books to helps kids cope with COVID-19
- My Coronavirus Story
- Caroline Conquers her Corona Fears
- Comic Book Coronavirus
- My Epidemic Workbook
- Trinka y Juan Luchando Contra El Gran Virus
- Trinka and Sam Fighting the Big Virus
Activity ideas to connect with children and teens while physical distancing:
Even as parents, caregivers and psychologists care for children and teens during the pandemic, they must also remember to take time to care for themselves.
- Resources to improve and strengthen your relationship in the face of COVID-19
- Journey through loss and grief: In the time of COVID-19 (PDF, 280KB)
- Child Mind Institute: Supporting families during COVID-19
- Uplifting quarantine questions : If you're sheltering in place, be sure to check in with yourself
- Oxford University: Advice for parents and caregivers (PDF, 1MB)
- Health-care toolbox: Health-care worker wellbeing