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Hello KCA Parents/ Guardians and Staff, 


I am reaching out during this difficult time to let you know that I am thinking about all of you and your families. With such significant uncertainty and the understandable anxiety that most of us feel, I wanted to share some information and resources that might be useful in managing the stress of this situation. Please take from this what is useful and leave what is not! If you are aware of other websites, podcasts, apps, community resources, etc. that other families might find helpful, feel free to send them to me and I can compile a more comprehensive resource list to send out. I will also be emailing all students with a message of encouragement and some resources / recommendations specifically for them tomorrow.


Be Well,

Ellen Ritchie, LCSW

KCA School Counselor


According to the CDC, these are things you can do to support your own emotional health:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

According to the CDC, these are things you can do to support your child:

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.

  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.

  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.

  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.

  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members online.

We thank you all in advance for your ongoing patience and collaboration. 


Take good care of yourselves and each other!


Ellen Ritchie, LCSW

KCA School Counselor

Basic Necessities: 

Please reach out to me if you find yourself lacking basic necessities such as food, healthcare, etc. These are unprecedented times and we have to come together to support one another. If you are in need, I can work with you to identify potential community resources.

Mental Health Support

I will begin offering brief virtual support sessions / check-ins for students that would like to connect with me online.  If you and / or your child  meet with a counselor or therapist regularly, I encourage you to request virtual sessions if possible to continue treatment during this high stress time. 

If, at any time, you believe that your student is experiencing a mental health emergency, I suggest that you contact one of the following providers for an immediate professional evaluation:  

Marillac Campus (KU): 913-588-1227

Research Adolescent Psychiatry: 1-844-207-4511

Supporting children through the COVID19 Pandemic

Here are some articles that discuss how to talk with kids and teens about the COVID19 Pandemic and how to support them in staying positive and accepting this "new normal".

Child Mind Institute:

National Association of School Psychologists:

Self-Care & Mindfulness:

Here are some resources for us as parents / guardians about mindfulness and coping with the stress of the COVID 19 Pandemic:

Ten Percent Happier:

Psychology Today:


Liberate Meditation:

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