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December 15, 2020

Coping with COVID

Children in Harris County and the rest of Texas are experiencing school closures, social isolation, lack of access to usual activities, fears of infection, and increased family stress in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these factors may negatively affect children’s mental health. How can parents help their child cope with COVID-19 related fears and uncertainties?

What is “Coping with COVID”?
The Coping with COVID program, a collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health System, provides free parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children in Texas who are experiencing stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 6 weekly 60-minute therapy sessions are delivered by therapists through Zoom. No in-person visits are required.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?
CBT is an evidenced-based therapy that is one of the best treatments for stress and anxiety in children. CBT teaches children how to identify, challenge, and overcome unhelpful anxiety-related habits and thought patterns.

What is parent led therapy?
In parent-led therapy, parents learn skills to cope with stress and anxiety which they can then teach to their child. The child does not need to directly speak with the therapist.

Over 6 weekly 60 minute sessions through Zoom or phone, our trained therapists will provide one-on-one therapy to parents, covering how to address their child’s anxiety and depressive symptoms, emotionally support their child during the pandemic, and help their child develop effective coping skills. Parents will learn cognitive behavioral techniques to teach their child, such as identifying emotions, improving emotion regulation, and developing adaptive coping thoughts and behaviors. In each session, therapists will provide homework assignments and handouts, videos, and resources on CBT. Therapists will guide parents to practice these learned cognitive behavioral techniques with their child outside of the parent-therapists sessions.

Who is eligible for Coping with COVID?
You and your child may be eligible for Coping with COVID if:

1. Your child is experiencing stress or anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Your child is 5 to 13 years old.
3. You live in the state of Texas and can be in Texas during treatment sessions.
4. You are willing and able to participate fully in treatment and assessments.
5. Your child is able to communicate verbally.

Getting started
If you are interested in participating in Coping with COVID, please call (832) 206-4034 or email You will be pre-screened by Coping with COVID staff over the phone. This initial conversation will help staff determine if the services offered through Coping with COVID may be a good fit for you and your child.

All sessions will be provided via Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant and secure video-conferencing platform. Referrals to community resources will be provided as needed.