If you and your family are feeling anxious and stressed due to the COVID world we are living in, you are not alone.  Amy Farley, Coordinator with the Cochrane and Area Family Resource Network says, “We’re finding that the kids are feeling stressed out, the parents are feeling stressed out it’s interfering with kids just their daily routines sleeping and eating. They are anxious about their social connections that they are losing when they do have to go back and forth between in-person and online. So, we have really just noticed a peak in those kinds of concerns.”

Anxiety can manifest in different ways in kids. Smaller children may complain of a tummy ache or a headache or crying a lot.  Teenagers may be a little bit more moody or depressed or have trouble concentrating, or have trouble sleeping.

That is where the Cochrane and Area Family Resource Centre (FRN) can help. Farley says, “We are offering some workshops on anxiety. We are offering workshops for parents and kids around regulation. So, for the little kids and kids with special needs, we offer the zones of regulation which is a program to teach kids along with the parents how to recognize when they are feeling anxious or stressed and give them some tools using visuals to support handling the stress.”

For the older kids, the Resource Network is partnering with Stepping Stones to Mental Health which is an AHS program that works through the high schools in Cochrane.  So, teens can seek out the Stepping Stones mental health worker at the school and talk one to one. Or there is programming offered too.

Farley says parents can reach out to the FRN and “..tell us exactly what their specific concerns are for themselves and their kids and then we can address it. What we do is if we see a trend, and we have seen a huge trend with anxiety, then we will offer groups and resources to address that.”

FRN has a wealth of resources at its disposal to help with numerous issues. For example, Farley says, “We have parenting books on anxiety, we have tip sheets, an anxiety kit so they can sign the kit out which has books and hands-on tools that parents can use.”

Help is available and no one needs to struggle alone.

Like everyone else, the Cochrane and Area Family Resource Network (FRN) has had to adjust to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, so they have had to cancel all in-person programs until further notice. However, they will be offering some outdoor programming which has proven very popular with parents and kids alike over the summer. Farley says, “Every morning we will be at a different park for September and October from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.” For more information reach out through the following avenues:

Call: 403-851-2265

By visiting: https://www.cochrane.ca/2171/Family-Resource-Network

Email: familyresourcenetwork@cochrane.ca