COVID Family Health Forum

Dear Friends and Neighbor

In April, First District PTA President Diane Hyland and I hosted a Family Health Forum. We were joined by four local Marriage and Family Therapists who discussed the importance of mental health and how individuals, especially families, can manage stress during this period of uncertainty with COVID-19. 

Below, you will find links that will take you directly to specific questions during the two-hour long conversation. Topics ranged from divorced families, special needs children, how to support distance education and more. Click on the links to go directly to the specific questions that pique your interest or listen to the full conversation.

Meet our therapists: Lara Mekhitarian, Anna Marie Rossi, Nora Chitilian and George Holbrook!


Question 1: How can we support essential workers, particularly those without PPEs?  Lara Mekhitarian

Question 2: What advice can you share regarding divorced families with children?  Anna Marie Rossi

Question 3: What advice can you give families with special needs children? -  Nora Chitilian

Question 4: How can parents of special needs children provide the physical activity needs of their children? - Nora Chitilian

Question 5: How do we provide resources to those in the dangerous situation of domestic abuse? - George Holbrook  

Question 6: How can we support our senior population, especially in regards to technology? Diane Hyland and Senator Portantino

Question 7: How can families help their students process what is going on with the virus? George Holbrook

Question 8: How can families support loved ones who are isolating themselves and resorting to self harm? George Holbrook and Lara Mekhitarian

Question 9: What tips can you provide to help teachers with online teaching? Anna Marie Rossi

Question 10: How can parents teach young children about COVID-19? - Nora Chitilian

Question 11: How do we help students cope with school closures and other changes? - Nora Chitilian

Question 12: What can we do to help young people understand and maintain social distancing guidelines? - Anna Marie Rossi & Lara Mekhitarian

Question 13: How do we encourage teens to engage in different activities other than electronics? - Anna Marie Rossi

Question 14: How can families create structure during these unprecedented times? - George Holbrook and Nora Chitilian

Question 15: How can parents working from home create balance within their workload and family responsibilities? - Lara Mekhitarian and Anna Marie Rossi

Question 16: How can families discuss the traumatic outcomes of the virus? - George Holbrook

Question 17: How can we offer comfort to those missing important life milestones due to the virus? - Anna Marie Rossi and Nora Chitilian

Question 18: How can we offer family members support when they have medical conditions that require attention from specialists?  - Lara Mekhitarian and Anna Marie Rossi

Question 19: How can we help loved ones developing an addictive behavior to cope? - George Holbrook and Anna Marie Rossi

Question 20: What advice can you offer spouses adjusting to constantly being around each other? - Nora Chitilian and Lara Mekhitarian

Question 21: How can people grieve over the loss of loved ones during COVID-19? – Lara Mekhitarian

Question 22: What advice can you offer those experiencing extreme sadness due to loss during this time? - Anna Marie Rossi

Question 23: Who is most at risk for developing depression during this time? - Lara Mekhitarian

CLOSING COMMENTS – Strategies for moving forward


With all of my love and labor at your service,