Make your home page

Now that school has started, students and parents are attempting to get into a routine. With the cloud of COVID-19 continuing to hover over what many hoped would be a ‘normal’ school year, there are ways parents can offer support to help young people navigate any potential challenges and changes and maintain good mental health.

Kimble Richardson, licensed mental health counselor and director of business development, for Community Health Network offers advice and guidance by answering some commonly asked questions:

Q: How can I guide my child through any ‘mask-shaming’ they may encounter at school?

A: If they will be wearing masks, it’s important to have a conversation with your child about what could happen if someone says something about them wearing a mask.  Talk about possibilities and options.  Help them think through appropriate responses so they are ready if they are teased to shamed.

Q: How do I talk to my kids about misinformation they hear at school?

A: At dinnertime, bedtime, or another time you are together, make a game of it. “Let’s talk about all the things we heard about COVID today”.  Share what you have heard as well.  Give them your perspective based on what they tell you.  Discover what is true and what is not together

Q: How can I recognize and address stress, fear and behavior changes in my child?

A: Teach your child that emotions are normal and natural.  Let them know whatever they are feeling it is ok, and that you are there to talk with, and support them.  Use language the child is old enough to understand.  Help them label emotions so they understand and can identify what they are feeling. 

Q: Are there tools you recommend to help children and teens process their social, emotional and mental well-being?

A: One thing to do to process emotions is to understand emotions are normal and part of being human.  We all have emotions and different intensities and levels and we need to be able to name them.  It’s ok to feel sad, mad, happy, etc. Help them express their emotions in healthy ways.

Q:  What are some conversation-starters parents or guardians can use to help young people cope with stress?

A: How you start a conversation with a child about stress depends on how old they are and how much they understand.  Start by saying, “I would like to talk to you about something that is important to me and important to our family because I care about you and want you to be well, safe, and healthy”.  Set the stage for the conversation. 

Click these links to read more about how to maintain good mental health at home:

12 Ways to improve your mental health

How to support mental health in your home


A vital part of staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is staying informed. As an expectant or new mother, you may have even more questions and concerns about whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Anthony Sanders, OB/GYN for Community Health Network joined us today to address some of these questions and concerns.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. However, data are limited about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant. CDC established the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry to learn more about this issue.

Dr. Ram Yeleti, the Community Health Network’s chief physician executive, answers the question, “Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant” in the latest episode of ‘A Shot of Truth’, a series about the COVID-19 vaccine found on the Network’s social channels.

Community Health Network also has information to help you know more about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnant women. Please visit the Community Health Network website for information about COVID-19, the COVID-19 vaccine, and frequently asked questions.

For more information visit,


Children 12 and older can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine according to CDC guidelines. Dawn Moore, chief pharmacy officer for the Community Health Network joined us today with what parents and young people need to know about the vaccine. 

Community Health Network finds that some kids are eager to be vaccinated, but parents are hesitant; or parents want their children vaccinated, but teens are hesitant. Plus, they are likely to be on social media, where there is a lot of misinformation.

There is a schedule of vaccine clinics taking place at their partner schools all summer long.

For more from the Community Health Network visit,

For more information about myocarditis and the COVID-19 vaccine, check out this information from the CDC:


National reports show that vaccine scheduling is on the decline, and the numbers indicate the age of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals is trending younger. Joining us today was Dr. Indy Lane, OB-Gyn for Community Health Network physician and medical director for Fishers. She explained why that’s happening and educated us about vaccines. Here’s more from her:

There has been a steady, and concerning, increase in COVID-positive patients admitted to our hospitals the past 4-6 weeks.

Some reasons:

The average age of patients admitted for COVID is trending younger compared to the end of last year.

The COVID vaccine is now available to anyone 16 and older.

Getting the vaccine is far safer than getting COVID.

The virus is new, but researchers have been studying the family of coronaviruses for a decade.

The vaccine technology itself had been developed and was ready to be used for this purpose.

Part of clinical trials is to continue to study the effects. The J&J pause is a natural part of that process, once it was determined a rare number of people got blood clots after getting the vaccine. • The CDC and the FDA recommend resuming the use of the J & J vaccine.

There is an increased risk in a rare event called thrombosis in women under the age of 50.

Studies indicated the benefits outweigh the risk.

If you have any questions about that particular vaccine, you should always consult your doctor. • The J&J vaccine is a different technology than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

We are hoping that with the drive-through clinics; and with the ‘walk-in’ model, it will provide easier access to get vaccinated.

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19:

If you have access to the internet, visit, and if not, call 211 to learn more and sign up for your vaccination.

For more information also visit,