Crisis Support

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

Find a Local NAMI

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to students, educators, and parents. Children already coping with mental health conditions have been especially vulnerable to the changes, and now we are learning about the broad impacts on students as a result of schools being closed, physically distancing guidelines and isolation, and other unexpected changes to their lives.

Mental Health Impacts on Students

Study: Mental Health effects of School Closures During COVID-19 (Lancet)

“For some children with depression, there will be considerable difficulties adjusting back to normal life when school resumes….” Read more.

Survey: The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Mental Health (Active Minds)

“20% of college students say their mental health has worsened…” Read more.

Poll: Parents Say COVID-19 Harming Child’s Mental Health (Gallup)

“Nearly three in 10 (29%) say their child is “already experiencing harm” to their emotional or mental health because of social distancing and closures. Another 14% indicate their children are approaching their limits, saying they could continue social distancing a few more weeks until their mental health suffers.” Read more.

Article: “In a World ‘So Upside Down,’ the Virus Is Taking a Toll on Young People’s Mental Health” (New York Times)

“The shuttering of the American education system severed students from more than just classrooms, friends and extracurricular activities. It has also cut off an estimated 55 million children and teenagers from school staff members whose open doors and compassionate advice helped them build self-esteem, navigate the pressures of adolescence and cope with trauma….mental health experts worry about the psychological toll on a younger generation that was already experiencing soaring rates of depression, anxiety and suicide before the pandemic….” Read more.

Article: “COVID-19 Has Worsened the Student Mental-Health Crisis. Can Resilience Training Fix It?” (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

“In some ways, the COVID-19 era seems like exactly the right time to educate students on how to manage the intense sadness, isolation, and anxiety they are feeling. But during the horrible natural experiment called coronavirus, is that the right message to send to students — to push through hardship, bounce back from failure, and come out stronger? Or should it be about empathy, compassion, and getting through this time in one piece?….” Read more.

Article: “The Growing Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 for Young Adults” (Health Central)

“As a parent, follow your gut… If you feel like something might not be right, it’s better to talk with them or find someone for them to talk to before it might spiral into something more serious.” Read more.

Support for Parents and Students

Taking steps to support students is essential during this challenging time, whether they’re learning remotely or in classrooms. For us, that means more than simply making sure they learn from lesson plans and score well on standardized tests. We are as concerned about the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students in our community. Here are resources to help parents and students.

Numbers to Call

The California Parent and Youth Helpline: 1-877-427-2736

Webinars with Useful Information

In-Person, Virtual and Everything In-Between: Supporting Families and Children Returning to School (NAMI Webinar)

Supporting Distance Learning (Parents and Caregivers for Wellness webinar)

“Bluesky: Building a Healthier California Through Youth Resilience in a COVID-19 World” (Commonwealth Club panel Discussion, featuring NAMI California CEO, Jessica Cruz)

More Resources

How to Help Students Cope and Deal with Stress” (California Department of Mental Health)

“School’s Out Parents’ Guide to Meeting the Challenge During the COVI19 Pandemic” (NYU Langone Health)

“An Educator’s Tips for Online Learning” (LA Times)

Social-Emotional Learning Is the Elephant in the Room: Three Challenges to Consider (Education Week)

How to effectively manage your child’s back-to-school fears (Washington Times Herald)

Back to School in a Pandemic: Tips to Foster Mental Health: Part 1 and Part 2 (Psychology Today)

Helping Children Cope (CDC)

Stress Relief for Caregivers and Kids during COVID-19 (California Surgeon General)

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19 (National Association of School Psychologists)

NAMI Resources

How to Help a Friend (NAMI)

Student Guide to Mental Health (NAMI)

Find out about NAMI On Campus for High Schools and College

Find out about NAMI’s Ending the Silence Presentation for Schools; find your local NAMI California affiliate to request a virtual presentation for your school