1.4. Mental Health Resources
COVID 19 Mental Health Information and Resources
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
Take care of yourself and your community
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. Feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness and uncertainty are normal during a pandemic. Fortunately, being proactive about your mental health can help to keep both your mind and body stronger
Ways to cope with stress
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be more upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Do meaningful things with your free time. When you can, do things that you enjoy and that help you relax.
• Read a book/listen to an audiobook.
• Learn a new skill
• Create art—draw, build something, etc.
• Journal or write
• Play games or do puzzles
• Take an online course—various free online courses available
• Do tasks around your home. Organize, do crafts, garden, rearrange your living space.
• Cook something new with ingredients you have at home
Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks Physical distancing (also called social distancing) can change how you usually interact with people you care about. Doing this is essential to lessening the impact of COVID-19. There are many ways you can build a feeling of connection, even if you can’t see people in person or go places you usually would:
• Make sure you have the phone numbers and emails of close friends and family
• Stay connected via phone, email, social media and video calls
• Offer to help others if you can
• Ask for help when you need it
• Share how you’re feeling with people you trust
• Regularly call, text or email with family and friends who may have more limited social contact—elderly people, those with disabilities, those who live alone, those who are quarantined or at high risk because of chronic health conditions
• If talking about COVID-19 is affecting your mental health, set boundaries with people about how much and when talk you about COVID-19. Balance this with other topics you’d usually discuss.
• If you are living with other people, communicate expectations about how to live well together while staying home
• Do virtual activities together
- Plan virtual dinners and coffee breaks
- Do at-home crafts and activities over a video call
- Watch a virtual concert together
- Read the same book or watch the same movie/TV show and talk about it
- Play online multi-player video games
- Join an online exercise class(https://www.nchpad.org/) ( https://www.facebook.com/PittVATS/)
Do you need help? Know someone who does?
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others
- Call 911 if you feel you’re in immediate danger
- Visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. call or text #988
- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline that this is a resource provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which offers a number of resources for people with substance abuse and mental health concerns during the COVID-19 crisis, including a treatment locator. Call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline Operating around the clock, seven days a week, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
- Disaster Hotline for People with Disabilities The hotline provides information, referrals, guidance, technical assistance and resources to people with disabilities, their families, allies, organizations assisting disaster impacted individuals with disabilities and others seeking assistance with immediate and urgent disaster related needs. The Disaster Hotline is always available for intake calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at (800) 626-4959
Medicare and other insurers are broadening coverage of telehealth (including mental health counseling) services during COVID-19, we urge you to contact your insurer to see what is available in your area. Find a Telemental health provider.
Talkspace www.talkspace.com (Talkspace is therapy for all. Online therapy lets you connect with a licensed therapist from the privacy of your device — at a significantly lower cost than traditional, in-person therapy.)
BetterHelp www.betterhelp.com (Making professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient - so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.)
Join the United Spinal Facebook Support Group to meet others and share information and resources!
United Spinal offers a national peer mentoring which pairs a mentor with a mentee who is looking for support and advice! This is a great way to get connected with someone who can offer you advice, guidance, resources and real-life experience especially during these difficult times. It’s is nice to speak with someone who understands! Request a peer mentor.
Visit our New Mobility COVID-19 Disability Specific Coverage for the latest disability specific recommendations.
Online Worship Services:
Online Faith Collective offers the following searchable tool: Online Worship Services by Faith Group
United Methodist Church: Where to Worship Online
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Resources for Catholics at Home During COVID-19
UJA-Federation of New York offers this list of Virtual Synagogue Services
Lastly, for the most up to date information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC.