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know how to get current COVID funk


Fedunec thinks back to when the pandemic started — people were wav-


ing, offering air high-fives and encouraging each other to press-on.“Now, people are just downright grumpy”— generally speaking. According to Fedunec,he had a recent conversation with his wife,who


also works for a family support organization in southern Alberta.“What she has recognized is families don’t want to do online anything, anymore.” Between kids doing online school, taking part in other online program- ming available through various agencies and parents working remotely — Fedunec said his wife was telling him where she works,“they created an activity where families come together outside.” “They have waiting lists, like they’ve never had before — because fami- lies just need to get out of the house. It’s not that they want to get away from each other, they want to do things, as a family.But they want to do them outdoors and out of the confines of the house.To get away from the TV screens, computer screens and they want to connect on some different emotional level they can’t do by just sitting at home,”he added. When you play outdoor sports, games or something similar, there’s a


connection that happens emotionally that doesn’t happen by just sitting in a room with people. “What’s happening now is,we are getting more parents calling and wanting counselling for their kids and for themselves because they don’t know how to deal with the stress their kids are experiencing.The anxiety, isolation and they haven’t seen their friends for a long time or they haven’t been able to go out and do particular activities with their friends. So they sit at home and the kids are anxious, and just tired. So, they’re irritable and all those kinds of things,”Fedunec explained. Now,he continued, parents are phoning in and asking how to deal with


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their child’s anxiety and commenting,“We knew they were anxious before, but now they’re even more anxious and struggling more with depression.” And, if their child had any kind of disorder struggling with an emotion, such as an eating disorder or sitting and playing video games all day prior to the start of the pandemic — “those have just been amplified, and the parents don’t know how to get their kids out of this funk they’re in.” As southern Albertans get closer to the day when they will have greater


access to the counseling side of FCSS,“We will be able to go back to pro- viding in-person and group assistance,”he noted, adding down the road, many of the FCSS programs will return to help kids deal with anxiety, depression, grief and loss due to death, separation, divorce or abandon- ment — or whatever the issue might be. “We’re waiting for the opportunity to actually provide these services in- person because we know they have a greater impact,”said Fedunec. For more information about counselling services call or text 587-370- 3728 or e-mail counsellingservices@fcss.ca.


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insight magazine march 2021 - 15


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