Brentwood Park Elementary Counselling

Exploring and Expanding Mental Health Together

Resources for Families this Fall 2021

Hi Families,

Welcome (back) to Brentwood Park! I hope you all had some time to connect and re-connect with loved ones over the summer months and that the start-up to the new school year has been going well so far.

We’re lucky in Burnaby to have so many great community resources to support families. Here are a few updates on these services for Fall 2021:

Burnaby Family Life has many great programs. If you’re interested in the one for LGBTQ+2S families, please note the start date is postponed by one week (starting next week).

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The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre also has some offerings to support families with the return to school this fall:

Finally, Family Smart is a terrific organization supporting parents to navigate questions and resources relating to their child’s mental health.  Check out this month’s ‘In the Know’ session:

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I’ll be posting opportunities like these as I hear of them, so check back here periodically for more info!



Parenting When Anxiety Shows Up as Anger

We’re fortunate in the Lower Mainland to have the terrific resource: Family Smart, a program offering peer support (Parent and Youth In Residence programs)  for parents and youth coping with mental health issues in their family, mental health literacy opportunities like the one listed below, and practice support for professionals. I’ll be posting the health literacy opportunities each month.

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Back to School Separation Worries: Parenting Tips

Welcome back everyone! This is always a time of transition for families but this year these transitions may feel a bit more daunting than usual. We’re all coping with constant change and unanswered questions about the future and it would be pretty normal to feel some worry. Some kids may be weathering the uncertainty with ease while others may be experiencing more anxious feelings than usual. There’s no right and wrong here!

Here’s a tip sheet for parents of younger children on how to help with back-to-school separation worries:

Some of these strategies can be adapted for older children too. Often the best tool we have as parents is to validate our child’s experience “I can see you’re worried about being apart. We’ve been together a lot lately!” and perhaps help them link back to their own resilience “Remember last week when we apart? You did it! What helped you get through that time?”  The worry or sadness about missing a caregiver can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Teaching kids how to cope with this distress gives them tools for life!

If you need any extra support with this or any other matter pertaining to the mental health of your family members, please don’t hesitate to be in touch by email or phone. I have a confidential voicemail at the school which you can access through the main line, press 4.

Wishing you a great start to the school year!

Looking for Perspectives on Parenting in the “New Normal”?

Join local experts in child and youth mental health, social-emotional learning, and evidence-informed parenting in this one-time-only, free webinar!

Back to school isn’t easy in the best of times. As we carve out a new normal in the classroom in the midst of COVID-19, our kids need our social-emotional support more than ever. The Dalai Lama Center is here to help, with a new, special-event webinar on nurturing our children (and ourselves) through the back-to-school transition.

This free webinar is designed for parents and caregivers to learn evidence-informed, practical ways to cope with uncertainty and anxiety in order to guide their children through this challenging transitional time.

Kareen Hudson will moderate a discussion and Q&A with featured panelists: Dr. Dzung Vo, Angela Low, and Holly Vivier.

Webinar Details:
Friday, June 5, 2020 10:30 – 11:30 AM PST

Link to Zoom meeting will be provided upon registration.

Presented in collaboration with SEL BC.

Register Now


Helping Children Connect During a Pandemic

We have all worked hard to find ways to stay emotionally connected to our friends and family during this time of physical separation. As we begin to open ourselves up to more people, it’s helpful to share with one another ideas for continuing to build and maintain friendships even with the physical distancing guidelines that continue. Consider leaving a comment to share with the wider community what has helped you feel close, while apart.

Here’s a sweet video to inspire us:

If Feelings Could Talk

As we grapple with questions about what the next few weeks will look like, remember you aren’t alone. Many children and families find change and uncertainty can trigger heightened stress responses both within us (e.g. struggling with negative self-talk?) and between us (e.g. having less patience with your loved ones?). Remember, change can also be an opportunity to get closer to your values and connect with people or ideas that matter most! To get through this time, try to let yourself find the middle ground between the worst and best-case scenarios and connect with the people and activities that help rejuvenate you. Check in with your feelings and give space and time so that you can help meet the needs those feelings might present. This is true for adults and kids alike! If your feelings could talk, what would they say?

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