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Churches provide emotional and social support for parents

School is challenging enough without a pandemic to hamper our kids’ growth, but some parents are getting some help with the assistance of local churches.
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 9:18 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - School is challenging enough without a pandemic to hamper our kids’ growth, but some parents are getting some help with the assistance of local churches.

“It’s an entirely different world,” laughed Megan Pass.

This school year is totally new for Megan Pass who has dealt with differences for some time now.

“It’s been very isolating,” explained Pass, “At first he was crying, he [Blake] wanted to go to school, he wanted to see his friends, he would sit and list all of the things he wanted to do, all of which we couldn’t.”

Her son Blake has autism, ADHD, and a compromised immune system.

“It can be very isolating. The pandemic made that entirely worse,” said Megan Pass.

Blake attends six and a half hours of virtual school each day.

Megan and her husband have turned to their church, Rio Revolution, for social and emotional support.

“We’re really appreciative and it’s like having extra family,” said Pass.

She turned to her church’s small group with other moms who have students with special needs.

“Just knowing you’re not the only one going through it, helps,” said Pass.

The church’s children’s pastor, Marquiel Baker, said he listens and recognizes this school year has challenges.

“When we are able to do that, meet those different needs of every situation, it makes me feel that we’re doing exactly what God has called us to do,” said Baker.

Baker encouraged parents not to be hard on themselves in the midst of the confusion and new experiences. He also told parents to ask for help and make changes when needed.

“We’re walking hand in hand with families,” explained Baker, “And as a pastor, that’s my heart, especially with kids, and young children and families.”

“We’re not just here to meet that need right there in that moment,” Baker said. “We’re here to meet any need that may come up, but also walk through with you.”

The Child Mind Institute has resources to help families manage stress amid the pandemic. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has some tips here.

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has a mental health help hotline which can be reached at (800) 560-5767 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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