PVNC parents/guardians gather virtually for learning session on mental health

May 20, 2021

Clarington parent Jenn Ball, chairperson of the Board’s Catholic Parent Engagement Committee, summed up the experience of many parents during the past weeks as she welcomed more than 160 parents/guardians from across the board to the committee’s virtual mental health session on May 19, 2021.

“As I reflect on this year’s obstacle course – pivoting is the new go-to word. We grapple with in-person to virtual shifts, from becoming tech support to our children teaching us technology, from ‘internet not stable’ messages to ‘it’s snack time again,’ flexibility and resilience have been key,” said Ball.

“As our 15,000 students across PVNC wrap up the last few weeks of an exceptional year, know that your efforts to teach, support, persevere and navigate uncharted waters are recognized and appreciated, and that you do not paddle alone.”

Dr. Joti Samra, a clinical psychologist, was the evening’s guest speaker, providing parents/guardians with skills and strategies to help children and parents alike stay psychologically calm, resilient and hopeful.

“Fourteen months ago, none of us could imagine the world the way it is now. This is a year that for every single one of us, we will always remember…senior home stories for all of us,” Samra said, pointing out that 40% of Canadians have reported dealing with anxiety and depression during this pandemic period.

“We know the impacts have extended to the logistics of how we live our life. Never before have we seen this collision between every part of our life.”

In addition to offering skills and strategies, Samra offered some messages of hope.

“Our children are immensely resilient. They do not just survive, but thrive in face of adversity,” she said. “Most of all, our children need love, connection, safety and security and a listening ear. They don’t need perfection.”