Department of Family Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Michael A. Becketts,

Prioritize Mental Health, Build Resiliency in Families

(Posted 2021 May)

two parents and three children outside making facial expressionsThis past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. During this global pandemic, the major changes to the ways we live our lives have impacted our children and their relationships. For example, Parenting Education Programs’ staff has noticed that the pandemic has caused many families to experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before.

May is Mental Health Month and now more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. It’s important to remember that working on mental health and finding tools that help each family thrive takes time. It is important to focus on small changes each day that develop into long-term ongoing strategies.

Resources and Support for Families

two people embracing and smilingThe good news is that there are tools and resources available that can help parents support the well-being of their children. You can learn more about these and other Tools2Thrive, in this Mental Health Month toolkit. The Tools2Thrive are practical strategies for managing anger and frustration, recognizing when trauma may be affecting your mental health or the health of loved ones, challenging negative thinking patterns, and making time to take care of yourself. You can begin with these strategies:

  • Extending time and grace to yourself to process experiences.
  • Making time for self-care, because taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, and mentally contributes to how you feel. 
  • Regularly connecting with people who care about you.
  • Being intentional about doing things that bring you joy. 
  • Practicing focusing on what you can control so you can move forward. 
  • Using the free, confidential mental health assessment to begin healing.
Local Mental Health Resources

parent sitting holding child sitting on pavementThe Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board offers resources for parents who are wondering if their child may need mental health support – including crisis response. Here are some additional resources to contact for help in support of a child’s mental health:

  • Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board 703-383-8500 (Emergency 703-573-5679)
  • Healthy Minds Fairfax (services for youth) 703-324-7938
  • Northern Virginia Family Service Multicultural Center 571-748-2800
  • Neighborhood Health (South County Region) 703-535-5568
  • Healthworks (Reston/Herndon) 703-443-2000
  • Northern Virginia Family Service Multicultural Center 571-748-2800
  • If you or your family member(s) have private health insurance, you can contact your insurance to identify a mental/behavioral health provider.
  • PRS Crisis Link hotline 1-800-273-8255; send a text with Connect to 855-11
  • Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia 
  • NAMI Northern Virginia 571-458-7310 extension 102.
    Online NAMI Virginia Family Support Group for Parents of Children 17 and under. Support group being offered via Zoom on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. Sign up by sending an email.

The Parenting Education Programs is now enrolling for classes that begin in Spring 2021. Join us for more information about positive and effective ways parents can interact with and encourage their children at every age and stage of development. We would love to hear from you. If you have questions or feedback about the topic in this article, send an email to us.

This posting is part of the Department of Family Services' Community Corner where you’ll find timely information about upcoming events, parenting and wellness tips, programs and services, and more! Share these helpful posts with your friends and family. Don't miss out on future postings! Sign up today!

For media inquiries, contact Department of Family Services' Public Information Officer Amy Carlini by email, office phone 703-324-7758 or mobile phone 571-355-6672.

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