As memes poking fun of parents and students now home bound make their way across the internet, it gives pause to reflect on how it's been said that there is always some truth to humor. These next few weeks will be difficult for all of us, but for some parents and students, these times will be the hardest they have ever faced...together.

Victoria Independent School District recently sent parents throughout Victoria County a letter to help them in the weeks ahead with counseling resources during what VISD Superintendent Dr. Shepard prefers to call " physical distancing" in lieu of " social distancing." He graciously encourages students to reach out via their phones to each other as a way to stay connected to each other, additionally encouraging students to reach out to those who may need it most.

Here is the letter addressing the new VISD counseling for our VISD family who may need advice or counseling during distance learning.

"VISD counselors realize what a trying time this is for our students and families.  Please know that we are available and want to help. If you need assistance from your campus counselor, you can reach out to us by either email or campus phone. Counselors are checking email and campus voicemail throughout the hours of 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday.  We will return your calls promptly. If you need assistance outside the hours of 8am-4pm Monday-Friday, please call the appropriate hotline or community resource listed below. Messages left for counselors after hours will be answered the following business day. As always, in an emergency, please dial 911."

The letter included the following numbers and information:

Gulf Bend Center Crisis Line * Screening and Crisis Response is available to any person in crisis residing within Gulf Bend Center's seven county service area, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Toll Free: 1 (877) 723-3422

Mid-Coast Family Services Family Violence Prevention Program* Our specially trained and dedicated staff provide 24-hour hotline counseling and crisis intervention as well as emergency shelter services for victims of family violence and their children.  24 Hour Hotline: 361-573-4357 and  Text Line: 361-433-1589 or Email: crisis@midcoastfamily.org

Victoria County Coronavirus Hotline *361-580-5796

National Suicide Prevention Hotline *1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The Harris Center's COVID-19 Mental Health Support Helpline*Devoted to helping people who are feeling anxiety, stress and distress with fear and worries. It's a live voice to talk to that listens and encourages and helps people through issues. The support hotline helps people identify their usual coping mechanisms and how to engage them and put them into place. 1-833-251-7544"

Thank you VISD. We are all thinking of family and friends at this time. If you know a student who may need additional support, please consider reaching out to them. If you have time to volunteer, Communities In Schools is a great opportunity to visit with at risk students. Additionally, here is a great article from Good Morning America to offer tips helping parents who are now homeschooling.

Photo credit to CIS