'I'm struggling,' Virtual schools returns as mental health concerns mount

School boards are adjusting once again to an ever changing situation as students, educators, and parents return to the world of online schooling this week.

This is the third time Simcoe Muskoka schools have shifted to virtual classrooms as COVID-19 case counts surge in Ontario.

The revolving switch from in-person to digital learning has some parents grappling alongside their children.

"I'm struggling with all three of them, trying to be in three places at once," said Alliston mom Tammy Walker.

Walker said juggling her kids in kindergarten and Grades 5 and 8 has affected her mental health and her children's.

"There are days where it's been tough, where he has a meltdown in front of his Google Meet classroom. So, what am I supposed to do? Close the computer?" she asked.

Simcoe Muskoka District School Board's mental health lead, Chantelle Quesnelle, said they encourage parents to use the tools available for their mental wellbeing on the school's website.

"Parents are seeing the challenges, and they are reaching out more than they have before," said Quesnelle, who added the board has counsellors and staff who provide mental health services.

The province shuttered schools across Ontario indefinitely with no clear indication of how long classrooms will be closed to in-person learning.

If the closures run parallel to Ontario's current stay-at-home order, they could remain locked until at least May 20.