Updates and Resources

Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/2/2020

GED Information

If you have been studying to take your GED tests, or registered to take a GED test, please use this link to keep up with important GED preparation and testing information:   Coronavirus Covid-19

Social Supports, Benefits and Health Care Coverage

Looking for other ways to talk to your children about COVID-19?   You might find these resource helpful:

Coronavirus Social Story by KeshetChicago


My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus - Carol Gray

Coronavirus Social Story

If you are looking for information regarding how to apply for SNAP benefits, Social Security Benefits, TANF, Medical Assistance and/or Energy Assistance here are some important links and contact information:

You can apply for assistance at any time by clicking here by calling the Social Services toll-free helpline at 855.635.4379, or by email commonhelp@dss.virginia.gov.  You can also call our local Department of Social Services at 540.245.5800 or 540.942.6646.

If you are looking for health care coverage, please see the blog post dated March 20, 2020 for information regarding Medicaid, FAMIS and the Federal Marketplace or use this link to find more information.  

Looking for other avenues for free and reduced cost resources like job training, medical care, respite and more?   Click here and enter your zip code to find resources and assistance in our area.  

As we’ve posted before,  we recognize there are a lot of scary words and new terms in the media right now, including “social distancing”, “self quarantine”, “isolation”, “shortage of medical supplies” and “pandemic.”  Even as we try to maintain social distancing to keep ourselves and each other healthy, it is important to remember you are not alone.  

Remember, if you or anyone in your family is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call:

Valley Community Services Board Emergency Services 540.885.0866 or Toll Free: 886.274.7475.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1.800.273.8255.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

“Social Distancing” Does Not Mean “Social Isolation”  Think “Physical Distancing” Instead

As we all work to follow health recommendations to practice physical distancing, limit our time outside of our homes and wash our hands and refrain from touching our face, here are some helpful tips from a recent article in Scientific American, “How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing” by Kasley Killam. If you are interested here is the full article.

  1. Did you know that facial cues, body language and other nonverbal forms of communication are important for people to bond with one another?  Use video chat rather than messaging, texting or calling to have face-to-face contact. Try a digital dinner with your neighbors or friends from work, a popcorn party or ice cream social, or maybe even a remote book club to stay connected.  Need help getting conversations going? Try TableTopics: Conversation starters - Icebreaker Games or 5 Classic Conversation Games to Play With Kids to get things going.
  2. Instead of scrolling through people’s posts, take a minute and send someone a few kind words through messaging or email.   A little bit of kindness can go a long way, right now and in the future, to counter uncertainty and stress. 
  3. Spend time feeding your curiosity or your passion--maybe even find a new one!  Whatever your interests are, there is most likely an online community who shares your same joy.  
  4. Deepen friendships, old and new.  Kelsey Killam reminds us there are two ways to overcome loneliness: nurturing your existing relationships or forming new ones. Get in touch with a friend or family member you haven’t had a chance to connect with in awhile, maybe even write a letter to send through regular mail!  Consider reaching out to someone you’d like to get to know better. Make new friends!  

Stay connected, stay engaged and stay well!