Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo from: UGDSB parent website
The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) recognizes that being a parent in the best of times is already a challenging job, but add in the obstacles brought on by the pandemic, and that can make some days seem hard.
That’s why the UGDSB has created a public website specifically for parents and guardians that focuses on mental health.
Jenny Marino, mental health and additions lead for the UGDSB said there is so much great information out there when it comes to mental heath, and sometimes that creates an overwhelm.
“Because you don’t know where to go and it’s the same information on multiple websites, and it’s all really good, so we were trying to really curate a simple, accessible website, with key information, and key areas, so that parents had a simple place that they could go to support the well-being of themselves, and of their children and youth,” Marino said.
Marino said she did reach out to their parent involvement committee and presented them a survey about ways and topics that would be of interest to them, and the website came out high on the list.
Marino told 88.7 the River what feature of the parent website is really important to her.
‘On the very first page, we have an invitation for parents if they would like to send us any topics or information that they’re not finding on the site, and there’s a form they can fill out and that comes to me directly,” Marino said.
She said there is whole section on parent well-being, which has documents on self-care, learning at home kits, and ways for parents to get other supports based on where they live.
Marino said that they tried to curate the best of the best so parents won’t have to turn to Google to find out information.
Marino said supporting parents directly support students which is why there is a section on the website on how to support their child.
“We have tried to really listen to what parents have been asking, so we’ve got a whole lot that’s supporting emotions, supporting children and youth with anxiety, lots of COVID-19 related parenting resources, and then home friendly ideas for family well-being [regarding] things that are easy to do in the home,” Marino said.
She added that she hopes the website helps to create a single point of access for well curated information parents can trust, as well as a sense of understanding of the value that the UGDSB places on student mental health and well-being, and therefore on parents and caregivers.
To get to the website, click here.