I have to adapt to what’s going on for the kids and my mental health.

Meet DeShawn.​

I work as a Student and Family Advocate for the Seattle School District. My team works directly with the kids and their families to ensure they have the resources and support they need. I’ve seen firsthand the psychological impact of COVID-19 on families around Seattle, and there are a lot of people struggling right now.

Our kids are dealing with a lot of adult issues.

Kids and families are struggling. This whole experience, it’s not like anything I’ve dealt with before. The impact is just so widespread. Parents have lost work. They don’t know whether they’re going to be able to pay their rent each month or buy food and basic life essentials. Kids no longer have the refuge school offered, these kids are dealing with a lot of adult issues and they have no space for the emotional, mental needs – the pandemic has really exasperated, all of it. And there are a lot of things going on that we just don’t know about.  It’s tough but I have to adapt to what’s going on. That’s basically what I’ve been doing since the pandemic hit last February — going to their homes and finding out the needs of our families. And just finding a way to respond to those needs.

When times get rough, like now, it’s just about helping each other out.

You know, to me, mental health is more important than physical health. If your mental is not right, I mean, your physical is not going to be right either. My connection with our kids helps me with my mental health. Like right now I’m struggling because I’m not having that same connection with them. Being the person I am, I stay upbeat. But this has probably been the hardest. This has been the hardest time for me just because of the lack of interactions I’ve had with our kids.

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