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GRPS Providing Mental and Social-Emotional Help For Students During COVID

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The Grand Rapids Public School District is offering help to students who may be experiencing trauma during the COVID 19 pandemic. 

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to wrap our arms around our students and families.”

John Helmholdt is the Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs for Grand Rapids Public Schools.  He says they know the times can be stressful during the pandemic which is why they have extended an offering of help for those who may need it. 

“We know these are very challenging and difficult times and that’s why we put out a communication to assure families we have supports in place, it’s done by referral.”

Helmholdt says the services can address both the social emotional needs of students and their families as well as their mental health needs.  He adds help is available if you notice any symptoms in your student like irritability, restlessness, anger or persistent sadness.

“We want to make sure the message is out that if parents are noticing anything in their child impacting their mental health, we want them to reach out to Jamal Fischer, at 819-7050, he is the lead point within the district that will refer parents to the proper services and those services will vary depending on the needs of the child.”

District officials also want families to know that in addition to their team of mental health therapists, their community mental health partners at Network 180, Forest View and Pine Rest say they’re open 24/7 to provide phone or tele-health services to anyone in crisis during these times.