COVID Response

As together we face these challenging times, Counseling In Schools (CIS) continues to provide
emotional and social support to children, families and school staff in need.

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact that is being felt disproportionately in the communities of color that we serve.

This is in large part due to generational trauma caused by decades of structural racism, including the brutality of the criminal justice system, inadequate emotional and physical healthcare, and unequal educational opportunity. However, as Counseling In Schools (CIS) and our staff well know, social injustice in communities of color has existed long before the current health crisis.

With students, parents and school staff experiencing even heightened trauma due to the pandemic, the need for CIS has never been greater.

What We Are Doing

NY Project Hope

  • We have been chosen to partner with NY Project Hope, a statewide program of the NYS Office of Mental Health, created to help New Yorkers navigate the changes caused by COVID-19.
  • CIS is a local provider agency of NY Project Hope. We are providing crisis counseling to NYC school communities struggling with stress and anxiety as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This strength-based engagement program offers emotional support that promotes resilience, empowerment and recovery to students and caregivers in need of hope and healing.
  • To contact our CIS Project Hope counselors call the Coping with Covid helpline number at (929) 243-4373. The helpline is operational from 8am-4pm and crisis counselors are available to speak now.
  • NY Project Hope is a program of the NYS Office of Mental Health, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. To learn more about NY Project Hope or contact their general helpline with extended hours of operation, please click here.

Services

  • We are continuing to provide counseling services to students, families, and school staff remotely, including during the summer months, to help children in schools and homeless shelters during this crisis.
  • We are providing therapeutic spaces for our school communities to discuss their experiences of racial inequities and mobilize themselves into positive action.
  • We are providing self-care strategies and tools to school staff committed to serving students as they too struggle through quarantine and loss.

Advocacy

  • We are participating in working groups to advocate for and help conceptualize how schools can be healing centers when they reopen fully across New York City.

Resources

  • We are delivering food to children in need. While the City has been providing take-away meals at schools, many families are not receiving this food because they are being told to stay inside. We are organizing and paying local grocery stores to deliver the food that families choose for themselves.
  • We are developing partnerships with organizations uniquely capable of delivering materials and services to individuals who have limited access to needed resources

The emotional wellbeing of children and entire school communities is the foundation to sustained learning and social progress.

Counseling In Schools staff continue to serve on the frontlines, helping children and families during this difficult time so that they can thrive in school and succeed in the future.

We will update this page periodically as the situation evolves. For available resources in your community, please click  here.