Mar 16, 2020
As we all continue to monitor COVID-19 and make plans to keep our staff members, volunteers and young people safe, we wanted to share a quick update on our plans. Our office is currently closed and will remain closed to visitors through March 31st. Our staff team is working remotely and will be available for any inquiries, training requests, resource needs, etc. We're here and ready to help!
While we all work around new routines and schedules in an effort to keep ourselves and our community healthy, it's important to remember that our young people might be experiencing a wide range of emotions/reactions to this situation. It's important to talk with the kids in your life to offer support during this uncertain time. That said, check out the below information and tips from our friends at MENTOR and various partner organizations around the country. Please feel free to share with others as we all continue to navigate this situation in a safe, responsible way.
Talking with Young People About COVID-19
Acknowledge what is going on and engage in a dialogue about the pandemic.
Understand and honor your emotions and the emotions of your mentee, including the range of reactions that may be expressed.
Commit to self-care. Know that it is okay to take a break from the news and discussions about the virus as needed to manage anxiety or other responses to the situation.
Follow the latest on COVID-19 on the CDC’s website.
Follow the guidelines of your mentoring program, institution, or the guardians of your mentee around how to connect and communicate virtually with your mentee if in-person connections are suspended. Decide on clear boundaries and agreements about how you will connect with your mentee when meeting in-person and continue to follow the latest health guidelines and recommendations about where and how to gather.
If your mentoring program remains open and you feel comfortable, continue to show up for them in person – young people need our support now more than ever!
If in-person meetings must pause, follow the appropriate path:
1. If you are permitted/able to communicate virtually with your mentee: Let your mentee know you need to temporarily pause seeing them in person but are still there for them virtually. Create a plan with your mentee about how you will stay in touch while continuing to follow the appropriate guidelines.
2. If you are not permitted/able to communicate virtually: Work with the program to figure out a way to pass along information to let your mentee know that you care, value the relationship, and will need to temporarily pause in-person meetings. Health and safety are the primary focuses at this time.