Your Weekly Student Mental Health Toolkit


Welcome to MindBeat™, your weekly student mental health toolkit!  We hope you find this information helpful during this period of school closure, where students may have limited social exposure and disruption of routines. During this time, it's more vital than ever that we come together to support the mental health of our young people.  In addition to this weekly email, you can get ongoing access to this MindBeat content by liking or following ESS on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Mental Health Moments #9-12
Week of April 13th, 2020
Mental Health Moment #9: At-Home Scavenger Hunt
submitted by Nomora Pearyer, ESS Clinician


Take a break in your day, away from the computer screens and explore a bit.  This at-home scavenger hunt is a sure way to shake up your day, move around the house and an easy way to find one item you have been searching for since last year!  Great activity for all ages.

How many of these items can you find around your house? Create teams, or go solo… who found the most?

Stuffed animal  
    Sunglasses     Potted plant        Pen            The Letter B

A random sock     A receipt          A book                Keys           A Ruler

A candle               Fresh fruit        A ball                  A scarf        A square               

A cat                    
Flowers           A flashlight



Mental Health Moment #10: The Mindful Jar 
submitted by Jessica Spar, ESS Clinician


This activity can teach children how strong emotions can take hold, and how to find peace when these strong emotions feel overwhelming.

First, get a clear jar (like a Mason jar) and fill it almost all the way with water. Next, add a big spoonful of glitter glue or glue and dry glitter to the jar. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to make the glitter swirl.

Finally, use the following script or take inspiration from it to form your own mini lesson:

“Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, mad or upset. See how they whirl around and make it hard to see clearly? That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. Don’t worry this is normal and it happens in all of us (yep, grownups too).

[Now put the jar down in front of them.]

Now watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. Keep watching. See how the glitter starts to settle and the water clears? Your mind works the same way. When you’re calm for a little while, your thoughts start to settle, and you start to see things much clearer. Deep breaths during this calming process can help us settle when we feel a lot of emotions” (Karen Young, 2017).

This exercise not only helps children learn about how their emotions can cloud their thoughts, but it also facilitates the practice of mindfulness while focusing on the swirling glitter in the jar.

Try having the kids focus on one emotion at a time, such as anger, and discuss how the shaken settling glitter is like that emotion.

Mental Health Moment #11: Bird Watching
submitted by James Marsh, ESS Clinician


Bird watching can be a wonderfully relaxing activity that you can do both inside and outdoors. There are many birds around and it takes some mindfulness to be able to spot something small in a bush or tree that may not be moving. It is also not just spotting them but also trying to identify what type it is. You can create a list and keep track of all the different types of birds that you see. There are many guides online that can help you to identify birds that you are not familiar with.

Mental Health Moment #12: Positive Family Observations
submitted by Shari Kerr, ESS Coordinator

Set aside one day of the week to sit down for 30 minutes as a family and discuss positive actions or behaviors observed that week. Each family member can take a turn, stating 1 positive thing they observed each of the remaining family members do that week. Observations can be as small as waking up on time because it displays independence, or larger such as helping a younger sibling who was struggling with virtual education content.

Upcoming Webinars
April 15th, 4:00 PM EDT
COVID-19 and Trauma: Using the Trauma-Attuned Model® to Support Students 
articipants will understand how COVID-19 can affect students who have experienced trauma, and learn actionable strategies for supporting students with trauma in their backgrounds. This session is appropriate for teachers and aides.
April 21st, 4:00 PM EDT
COVID-19 and Student Mental Health: Reacting to the Present, Planning for the Future
Join ESS' Duncan Young and Mike Roseman for a conversation about best practices in supporting the mental health of students during school closures, and in preparing for the mental health realities of the post-closure environment.

April 22nd, 4:00 PM EDT
Dealing with Challenging Homebound Kids? Try the Nurtured Heart Approach®
In this presentation, participants will learn how to use the Nurtured Heart Approach® to find the greatness in our students and children- a great approach to interacting with students during these times of school closure. This session is appropriate for teachers, aides and parents.
April 23rd, 4:00 PM EDT
Supporting Students with Autism During Uncertain Times
ESS' Dr. Coleen Vanderbeek will explore a variety of strategies that can help support students with autism who may be struggling during this unprecedented time of change and ambiguity. This session is appropriate for parents and teachers.
Key Numbers:
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline text TalkWithUs to 66746
The Crisis Text Line text TALK to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Autism Response Team 1-800-AUTISM2 (English) 1-888-772-9050 (Spanish) 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM all time zones 
Visit us at www.effectiveschoolsolutions.com/covid19 and be sure to follow our social handles for up to date info and webinar sessions.
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Effective School Solutions, 121 Chanlon Road, New Providence, NJ

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