HOUSTON – A new program developed by mental health experts at Baylor College of Medicine gives parents the tools they need to help their children cope with fears and uncertainties due to COVID-19.
Coping with COVID is a program that provides free, parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children in Texas who are experiencing stress due to the pandemic.
This initiative includes 60-minute coaching sessions for parents via Zoom or phone over a six-week period. Parents will also complete three assessments to track progress.
“We’re empowering parents by giving them tools to help their children cope effectively during this difficult time,” said Dr. Eric Storch, vice chair of psychology and professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor.
CBT is an evidence-based therapy implemented to treat depressive and anxiety symptoms. It teaches individuals how to identify, challenge and overcome unhelpful anxiety-related behaviors and thought patterns, such as excessive worry, fears of separating from loved ones, and sadness.
Through Coping with COVID, parents will participate in a structured but personalized program to learn skills to implement with their child to support the child’s psychological adjustment. Parents will receive coaching from therapists on how to support their child using cognitive behavioral techniques, such as identifying emotions, improving emotion regulation, facing unrealistic fears, and developing adaptive coping thoughts and behaviors.
Parents and children may be eligible for the Coping with COVID program if:
- Their child is experiencing anxiety, depression, or stress due to or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Their child is 5 to 13 years old.
- They live in the state of Texas and can be in Texas during treatment sessions.
- They are willing and able to participate fully in treatment and assessments.
- Their child is able to communicate verbally.
Those interested in participating in Coping with COVID can call (832) 206-4034 or email [email protected].