Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is focused on bringing awareness to increased levels of stress for families with young children as a result of the social, health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
Calls regarding domestic violence are up, although calls to child protective services (locally and across the country) are down (40% in Mecklenburg). With children not in school or child care, and families more isolated, those who might be most likely to report (mainly educators) are not interacting with children in ways they normally would.
According to Sharon Hirsch, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse NC, “The biggest risk factors for child abuse and neglect are economic stressors and social isolation – we’ve got both of those things happening right now.”
In order to bring these issues to light, along with providing resources for those effected, Prevent Child Abuse NC started the #BeAConnection campaign.
Greater Charlotte Hope Line
The Greater Charlotte Hope Line is a 24/7 hotline for Mecklenburg County residents seeking help for parenting support, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Hope4NC Helpline connects North Carolinians to additional mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. Hope4NC is now available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to speak to a live person.
Hope4Healers Helpline provides mental health and resilience supports for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, child care providers and other staff who work in health care settings and their families throughout the state who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. Hope4Healers is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for people to reach out for support; they will be contacted quickly by a licensed mental health professional for follow-up.
WANT TO HELP?
Familiarize yourself with the parent and caregiver guide using the link below and share it with everyone you know, especially those with children, and use #BeAConnection on social to help spread the word.