The Office of the Child Advocate, Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Mental Health launched Handholdma.org after recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's mental health.
The family-friendly website for parents and guardians of school-aged children provides tips, tools and sources targeting the mental health of kids aged 6-12.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that there has been an impact on the emotional well being of many residents across the Commonwealth, including our youngest residents,” said Marylou Sudders, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a release. “As families continue to navigate these unprecedented times, tapping into expertise through HandholdMA.org can help them better understand their child’s mental health and find available resources.”
The website, which was developed by a team of mental health and child development experts, is organized into three sections. The sections help parents discover if they should worry about their child's behavior, if they can help their child and if not, what community organizations and government resources can be used to help families.
The site is available in six languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole and Vietnamese.