Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County
1605 CR 1095
Ashland, OH 44805
October 13, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County Preschools Receive Mask Kits for Children
Gift from Catholic Charities Helps Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Ashland, OH: Several Ashland County preschools have received mask kits for the children in their care. Catholic Charities approached those schools currently receiving Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) consultation services to identify those that might need face coverings for their students. ECMH, a program delivered primarily by Catholic Charities to parents and to preschools, promotes healthy child development and builds resiliency.
The following schools expressed interest in receiving the kits:
Since these sites encourage the children in their care to wear masks, helping the children understand how and why masks work, while becoming accustomed to wearing them, has been a priority for administrators and teachers.
The kits, which include stuffed animals wearing masks that match the children’s masks, have received an overwhelmingly positive response from adults and children alike: "Many children are keeping their animals with them and carrying them around,” said Donna Swartz, a teacher at Ashland Kroc. “I think the animals have helped to encourage the children to wear their masks. Both our staff and our students' parents have been excited about the results."
Catholic Charities was able to provide the kits because of volunteer Trish Risser, a talented sewer who had been making masks for adults and then got inspired to make masks for young children. She made all of the masks and donated the stuffed animals as well. When asked about her efforts, Trish said, "I'm happy that children can see mask-wearing as not so scary or traumatic...maybe I learned how to sew for this very reason."
About AMHRB: The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County administers the public mental health and addictions service system in Ashland County. The board provides funding and conducts the planning and evaluation activities for services provided primarily by Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, Ashland County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ACCADA) and Catholic Charities Services of Ashland. The board prioritizes services that 1) are trauma-informed, 2) promote resiliency and recovery and 3) promote a conservative approach to the use of medication using principles of Medication Optimization.