Outbreaks like the current COVID-19 coronavirus can cause a lot of stress for people and communities. As the CDC notes, fear and anxiety can be overwhelming for some people. Some quick tips on how to cope include:
• Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
• Take care of your physical health by eating well and getting exercise.
• Keep a sense of hope and positivity with your thoughts and interactions.
• Even when practicing social distancing, you can connect with others. Make time to have phone calls or video chats with your friends and loved ones.
You can find more guidance from the CDC on the COVID-19 coronavirus here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
You can find the latest information from the Mississippi State Department of Health here: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING A CRISIS SITUATION?
Mobile Crisis Response Teams provide guidance and support to adults and children who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Response teams are available in all 82 counties and can be accessed by calling the toll-free numbers that are answered around the clock by Licensed Therapists, Peer Support Specialists, and Community Support Specialists. Response teams respond wherever a person is experiencing a crisis or at a designated location, like a local hospital. Services are funded by the Department of Mental Health and provided by the 14 Community Mental Health Centers. Click here to find your local Mobile Crisis Response Team’s contact information.
National crisis lifelines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. Read more about these lifelines here.
The Department of Mental Health Helpline will remain staffed at all times. Call 1-877-210-8513 for information about services or supports near you.
Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Human beings like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us. When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. This very reaction, while there to protect us, can cause all sorts of havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us. Click here to read more from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others. Click here to read more from the CDC.
Children’s Explanation of COVID-19
It can be tough for parents to have the right answers to questions about an illness like COVID-19, the condition caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). In this video, a curious 9-year-old asks our experts common kid questions about the virus. They cover topics from traveling to taking care of family and playing with friends. Watch this video to learn how to talk to kids about the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to watch a video answering kids’ questions about the coronavirus.
Families across the country are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most schools, places of public gathering, and nonessential business are closed, and parents and other caregivers are faced with helping their families adjust to the new normal. This includes trying to keep children occupied, feeling safe, and attempting to keep up with schoolwork as best as possible. The National Association of School Psychologists has provided easy to follow guidance for parents to help children cope with the changes associated with COVID-19. Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19
Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Social Distancing
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help. Click here to read a tip sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Supporting Practices for Mental Health Professionals During Social Distancing
There are strategies available for mental health professionals to address the stress of isolation. During periods of social distancing, it is important to re-establish and develop balance and connection under a new set of circumstances. When facing challenges — particularly ones related to a pandemic, such as stress, illness, or trauma — balance can help restore feelings of control, and connection can counter feelings of loneliness. Click here to read a tip sheet from the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network.