Mental Health Support During COVID-19

The outbreak of infectious diseases such as the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be a stressful time for individuals and communities. It is not uncommon to feel anxious or worried while listening, reading or watching the news.  While it’s necessary to keep up-to-date and make changes to daily life in order to help control the spread of COVID-19, the constant news cycle coupled with social distancing measures can have a real impact on mental health. It’s important during times like these to monitor your own physical and mental health, as well as safely stay connected to your community. Know the signs of stress and when and how to seek help for yourself, as well as loved ones.

Here are a few resources to read, share with family, friends and community members as well as a reminder, and tools, to practice self-care.

The Center for Disease Control, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and California Department of Public Health have released a handful of relevant and informative resources below:

*   CDC: Mental Health & Coping During Covid-19

*   CDC: Stigma and Resilience During Covid-19

*   CDC: Helping Children Cope with Emergencies 

*   SAMHSA: Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

*   SAMHSA: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Social Distancing 

*   California Department of Public Health: Guidance Documents

*   California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance. Covid-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians

We know that human connection is one of the most critical protective factors for good mental health. But how can we stay in connection while still following medical guidance to limit your exposure to others? Community isn’t just about proximity, it’s first and foremost a mindset

about who we consider to be “our own.” In the face of social distancing, remember that we all need one another — maybe more than ever — to get through difficult times like these. Staying emotionally connected as a community even if we temporarily become more physically isolated is critical to all our mental health.

Learn more at Community Connections in Times of Physical Separation

Online or phone support is available through a variety of free warm lines such as:

*   SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Line

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

 Teen Line

Call (310) 855-HOPE or (800) TLC-TEEN (nationwide toll-free) from 6 pm to 10 pm PST or Text “TEEN” to 839863 between 6:00 pm-9:00 pm PST to receive person teen-to-teen education and support.

*   The Peer-Run Warm Line

Call 1-855-845-7415 for peer-run non-emergency emotional support.

*   The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7): Call 1-800-273-8255.

As we work together to raise awareness about mental health, reduce stigma and  discrimination related to mental illness, and prevent suicides, it is vitally important that we take care of ourselves. During this stressful time, we remind you all, to place an emphasis on your own self-care. Take time to breathe, meditate, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and take a break from the news and social media periodically.