COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time that all members of our communities are experiencing. Roles have changed and routines have been turned upside down. People are facing loss of employment, uncertain futures, and, of course, potential infection of a deadly virus. This is an unprecedented time and one for which we don’t have a step-by-step playbook. Now more than ever, it is imperative for everyone to practice good self-care so that we can protect our mental and physical health.

That’s why psi is providing important tips and resources below that we encourage you to share with your parents and school communities. There are tips for managing stress and anxiety, followed by dozens of helpful links and resources, including a Kids Guide that answers questions children may have about the virus. Thank you for sharing this vital information.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety
These practices will help to keep stress and anxiety in check.
Remember to manage your expectations, do your best, and be kind to yourself.

1.  GET A ROUTINE: Having a routine while self-isolating will help to maintain structure and avoid spending too much time thinking about the current situation. If working from home, it will help to avoid working too much, or too little.

2.  LIMIT MEDIA EXPOSURE: Try to limit exposure to social media, especially for updates about COVID-19. Instead, get information from trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control or World Health Organization. Focus more on local news and put a time limit (e.g., 30 minutes, twice a day) on reading about the pandemic. Stay informed about the facts and avoid sensational stories.

3.   MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH: Make sure to do your best to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and get some physical exercise. Being physically healthy will help to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety.

4.   PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: Try some breathing or brief mediation techniques to help manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. See below for more.

5.   STAY CONNECTED: It is really important to stay connected during this time of social distancing and self-isolation. You can do this virtually using free video chat or video conferencing software or making a phone call. Reach out to family and friends and maintain your social support network.

Mental Health Resources:

Let’s Meet This Moment Together
free meditation resources from Calm.

Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety
Online toolkit for managing anxiety.

Coronavirus Anxiety – Helpful Expert Tips and Resources
Resource list from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
Tips from the Centers for Disease Control.

Tips and Advice for Parents:

Kids Guide COVID-19
This pdf is a valuable guide geared for children.

COVID19 : Quick tips to support your children in learning at home
Click here for UNESCO tips.

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the COVID-19
Tips from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
Tips from the Child Mind Institute.

Free Online Resources for Parents and Students:

San Diego Zoo
Live Cams

Melbourne Zoo
Animal House

Panda Cam at Atlanta Zoo
Panda Cam 

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Live Cams

Google Museum Tours

Smithsonian Dinosaur Tour
National Museum of Natural History

Louvre Art Museum, Paris visites-en-ligne

Age of Learning, Inc. > Early Learning, Education Technology Leader
Free access to ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ.

Amazon Future Engineer Program
Free access

Enabling student access to Creative Cloud during COVID-19 campus closures
Free access to Adobe Creative Cloud through May, 2020.

Full Stem Ahead
Live, online events to help teach students code, build, invent and animate.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition and follow your health care provider’s instructions.

psi’s New Free Health Webinar Series!

All of us at psi are very excited to announce our free School Health Webinar Series! Join us this school year as psi’s Medical Director, Dr. Carly Wilbur, UH Pediatrician, takes on the ‘hot topic’ issues pertaining to school health in today’s classrooms. Log in, take part, ask questions, and Raise the Power of Education all for free! Mark your calendars now for:

September 18: Vaccinations- Are Your Students at Risk?
November 20: Functional Abdominal Pain
January 29: The Vaping Epidemic
March 18: Increasing Rates of Suicide Among Teens
May 6: Sleep Hygiene

We look forward to seeing you there!

Can’t wait? We understand! Visit psi’s free Webinar Library for past presentations from industry leaders and experts.

Lyme (and other tick-borne) Diseases


Written by Dr. Carly Wilbur, psi Medical Director

Welcome to a very special edition of psi’s Paradigm! Are you up to date on your Lyme disease symptoms, treatments, and preventions? With the beginning of the new school year as well as a nationwide increase in tick-illnesses, know the facts!

By all accounts, the number and extent of tick-borne illnesses are increasing annually in the United States. While Lyme disease is the most recognized of these illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that seven new tick-borne germs have been identified in the US in the last two decades.  And while not all cases get reported, the number of logged cases of Lyme disease has tripled since the early 2000’s. Several factors are to blame: new tick species have been identified, reforestation projects bring humans and wildlife in closer proximity, and climate change has altered the ecological nature and seasonal cycles that affect ticks and their hosts.

Nationwide, this has historically been an issue for the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, but the geographic area of concern is growing, and the number of counties that qualify for a “high risk” label for Lyme disease has increased 300% in 20 years.

In Ohio specifically, the incidence of Lyme has skyrocketed: Only 44 cases (in 28 counties) were reported in 2010, but that number was up to 270 cases (in 44 counties) by 2017 (the most recent published data for our state).


While not every tick encounter results in a diagnosis of Lyme disease, it’s important to recognize the symptoms that would increase one’s index of suspicion.

Erythema Migrans (EM) rash (pictured) and generalized malaise (fever, headaches, muscle pains, joint pains) within 1-2 weeks of a tick bite. If these complaints are not identified, the disease can progress within 2-4 weeks to a more disseminated form that carries the risk of central nervous system involvement (meningitis, cranial nerve palsies, eye conditions) and heart problems. Late disease, often recognized months after a tick bite, carries an even greater risk of nerve damage and prolonged arthritis.

Knowing what to look for is helpful. The Ixodes scapularis (AKA Blacklegged Tick) is tiny, and the nyph (baby) phase of the life cycle can be <3mm in size.

Certain precautions can help prevent Lyme disease:

  • When hiking, walk in the middle of the path, not the tall grass.
  • Use EPA-approved insect repellant spray with DEET.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants. Tuck pant legs into socks.
  • Clothing and gear can be pre-treated with permethrin. After exposure, clothing can be placed in the dryer on a high heat setting.
  • Wearing light colored clothing makes ticks easier to see.
  • Shower off and check yourself (and your pet) thoroughly after being in tick-infested areas. Promptly remove any ticks discovered.
  • Continue to check for ticks 2-3 days after outdoor activities in areas known for ticks.
  • Be sure to protect your pet(s) with regular anti-tick treatments.

If a tick is discovered, immediate removal is advised.

Because NE Ohio is not currently considered an area of high endemicity for Lyme disease, the standard of care is to not start antibiotics unless certain criteria are met:

  • Tick is engorged
  • Tick has been in place >36 hrs
  • Patient has classic EM rash at tick site.

Blood tests to confirm diagnosis are not necessary if the history and  presentation are classic. EM with known exposure warrants a course of empiric antibiotic treatment.

Atypical symptoms should prompt a laboratory work-up that includes quantitative screening for serum antibodies to Lyme disease. If these are negative, no further testing is needed. Positive tests will need follow-up with Lyme immunoblot or Western blot for presence of IgM and IgG antibodies. Only with a strong response to both antibody types, can a definitive diagnosis be made.

If antibiotics are warranted, first-line agents include oral Doxycycline twice daily for 10 days or Amoxicillin three times a day for two weeks. Most clinicians will administer a single prophylactic dose of Doxycylcine if an engorged tick has been discovered.


For more info on Lyme disease symptoms, treatment, and prevention:

Center for Disease Control – Lyme Disease

More info on Dr. Carly Wilbur, psi Medical Director

psi’s School Health Clinic Services Program


Fun Summer Tips That Will Keep Your Child Learning!

Summer is almost here… and that means your students and children will be ready for fun and excitement! Try these great tips for keeping kids focused and avoid the dreaded.. Summer Brain Drain!

1. Get involved

Kids of all ages love to know that they’re making a difference, and community service opportunities abound. Read to nursing home residents. Stock food pantries. Clean up a local park. Getting involved helps our community build a Climate of Caring.

2. A day in the park

Ohio has 83 state parks, 2 National Historic Parks, and 3 National Wildlife Refuges. There’s camping, swimming, hiking, boating, breathtaking views — even theaters and historical landmarks. Many parks offer handicapped-accessible facilities and educational programs that will foster your learners’ love of nature!

3. Get creative

Engaging the mind with reading and other creative ventures is just as vital as engaging the body. Summer is the time to read books, make videos, write stories, stage shows, make music and create works of art without the pressure of assignments, deadlines and grades.

4. Backyard adventures

You don’t need to get in the car to discover new wonders. Send kids on a backyard bug hunt, or challenge them to create art with sticks, pinecones and leaves. Hold a backyard camping trip, complete with stargazing. Plant vegetables, and make healthy meals celebrating the bounty of your garden.

5. Kitchen curiosity

Bake a cake. Make a casserole. Build a banana split. Create a new drink recipe. Kitchen adventures teach kids the basics of cooking while giving them the pride of sharing their culinary successes with family and friends.

6. Start a business

Host a lemonade stand or mow lawns. Baby-sit. Sew and sell shopping bags. Kids who earn money learn to appreciate the value of a dollar and to manage their money.

We Love Our Cleveland Cavaliers!

Good Luck to the Cleveland Cavaliers!

Webinar: Managing Concussions in Schools

Did you miss our informative webinar on Managing Concussions in School?   Click here to view on demand.With a focus that addresses concussions on and beyond the sports field, this webinar describes how to create and lead a school concussion management team and provides clear, non-technical information on how concussions can affect learning, mental health, and social-emotional functioning; tools for school-based concussion assessment; and guidelines for creating accommodation plans in collaboration with the family, community, and school team.  This webinar has passed but you can always review our webinars in our library.

Dr. Scott Poland gives some practical advice on grief

In the wake of the tragic events that occurred in Orlando, many people are dealing with grief. You do not have to be directly involved with this incident, as seeing it on the news and hearing about it can bring up a person’s own life experiences, and with it, a sense of grief and despair. To help, Dr. Scott Poland,

A PSI Expert Partner and a professor in Nova Southeastern University ‘s Psychology Department, has put together some “tips” to help people deal with their grief as well as how parents should help their children understand these senseless acts.

You can read Dr. Poland’s advice online HERE .

Dr. Poland is also a nationally recognized expert on school crisis, youth violence, suicide intervention, self-injury, school safety, threat assessment, parenting and the delivery of psychological services in schools. Poland is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team for the National Association of School Psychologists and serves as the Prevention Director for the American Association of Suicidology. He has led multiple national crisis teams following numerous school shootings and suicides and served as the team leader of the crisis response team sent to Jefferson County Public Schools during the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings.

In Honor of Sister Bernadette…..

2016-06-14_12-48-26We meet only a few very special people in our journey through life. I met such a lady close to 40 years ago when PSI was in its infancy. Sister M. Bernadette Maier, OSU, is perhaps the most remarkable woman I have met in my four decades of work with educators in Ohio. Certainly schools, and in particular the Catholic Schools, are full of wonderful people who are dedicated to their mission and give their all for the schools and the furtherance of Catholicity.

Sr. Bernadette did all that. In addition, she saw opportunity where there were obstacles, dreams where there were ‘roadblocks’ and strategies where there were almost insurmountable challenges. The non-public schools throughout Ohio but especially in the Cleveland Diocese, live her legacy every day when children benefit from services paid for by auxiliary services funds. These services didn’t just come to be by fiat. They were achieved by dint of hard work, vision, politics and endless blood, sweat and tears. Her stories and accomplishments are as voluminous as they are a study in political triumph.

She became dear to us over the years as we all strove to expand the services she wanted for ‘her kids.’ She was one of a kind, full of the vim and vigor that all movers and shakers have, changing the systems in which we live. She will live on in our hearts as an ideal to which we all should aspire, a tireless supporter of PSI and a dear, dear friend.

God Bless you Sr. Bernadette.


– Steve Rosenberg, President of PSI

Mandarin Language News

PSI’s Hui-ying Lee
proudly presented her students at the National Chinese Honor Society induction ceremony at Walsh Jesuit High School in April. There were eight inductees this year and they are all Chinese 3 juniors.
The National Chinese Honor Society (NCHS) was established in November 1993 to recognize those accomplished high school students who study Chinese as a world language.
The National Chinese Honor Society is a scholastic organization that promotes and recognizes students with good citizenship, leadership, and deeds of community service.Mandarin Language Services

The National Chinese Honor Society’s goal is to encourage its members to become life-long learners to gain a better understanding of Chinese language and culture, and to play an active role as constructive peace-makers in the twenty-first century. The applicant must be a full time high school student who has studied Chinese fo four semesters in high school with an average of A- or higher. A qualified candidate is someone who is willing to work with the sponsor/advisor as well as with other students as a role model to play a positive role in Chinese studies. Hui-ying has continued to develop the Mandarin Language program at Walsh over several years and her efforts are producing some exemplary students. Congratulations to all!

PSI Presented at a Conference in Amsterdam on Suicide Prevention

PSI is proud to announce that Dr. Colleen Lorber, PSI Executive Director of Client Services and PSI partner, Dr. Scott Poland, presented at the International School Psych Association in Amsterdam, Holland this summer on suicide prevention.

Dr. Lorber holds a doctorate from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Her dedication to staff, professionalism and her high energy level serves the schools we partner with, extremely well. “I most enjoy helping to find and support the best possible staff to meet the many needs of the students we serve. PSI is all about providing the very best and innovative services possible to help our partner schools and their students succeed.”

Dr. Poland is a nationally recognized expert on school crisis, youth violence and suicide prevention.

Their combined presentation will focus on suicide prevention and the children served everyday by the educational community.