JANUARY 2021 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 47
Coronavirus calls for teaching coping mechanisms in children more than ever. (Getty Images)
INSTILLING YOUTHFUL RESILIENCE
BY BRIANA BONFIGLIO
Over the past five to six years, Dr. John Kelly, a school psychologist on Long Island
and past president of the National Association of School Psychologists, has seen
the mental health of K-12 students become a higher priority in many school districts.
This could be due to the New York State Education Department’s large push for
social emotional learning (SEL) at all grade levels, which began in 2018, and the
gradual destigmatization of talking about mental health and its impacts on children.
“There’s been a greater recognition of the importance of supporting mental health
of students and that it’s part of supporting learning,” Kelly says. “I’ve noticed that
trend in schools taking on a greater role in providing these services.”
It’s fortunate that many Long Island schools got the ball rolling with mental health
these past few years: Now that Covid-19 has upended normal school routines for
kids, coping skills are needed more than ever.
WHAT’S INSIDE continued on page 48
FAMILY & EDUCATION
ADDRESSING OUR KIDS’ MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC