Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Resources and tips to help boost emotional health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being during this time is important. Decreasing stress can help bolster your immune system and can help keep you and others around you healthy. Below are a list of resources and tips for staying emotionally healthy and well.

Table of Contents

Resources for reducing stress and healthy coping

For everyone:

For parents and families:

  • Parent / Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Chinese, English, Spanish)

For treatment providers:

Combating isolation and loneliness

During this time of social distancing, consider creative ways to fight isolation and loneliness which can worsen some mental health symptoms. Some tips include:

  • Find a pen pal! Write a letter to a friend or family member. Writing has been shown to help people feel less sad or upset. Don’t forget to wash your hands after you get back from dropping the letter in the mailbox!
  • Schedule a virtual “hangout” with friends or loved ones using an online video system such as FaceTime or Google Hangout.
  • Call a neighbor or friend to check-in on how they are doing.
  • If you are healthy, offer to run an errand for an elderly or infirm neighbor. Helping others can help us feel connected and gives us a sense of purpose during this difficult time. Be mindful to wash your hands before and after the errand and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and the person you are helping. Even seemingly healthy people can transmit illnesses.
  • Go for a walk and simply wave or greet others from a safe distance.
  • Social media can help us maintain connections to others, especially family and friends who live far away. Too much exposure, however, can make anxiety or depression worse. Be mindful of how much time on social media helps you feel connected and less alone versus overwhelmed.

Tips and activities for children

Stigma and discrimination prevention

Misinformation and concern over COVID-19 can make us all anxious and may also lead discrimination and stigma against people or places. The resources below are intended to help reduce and prevent stigma, as well as support those who have experienced discrimination. 

What we can do to prevent stigma (source: Washington State Department of Health):

  • Rely on and share trusted sources of information.
  • Speak up if you hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation.
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities more closely impacted.
  • Avoid stigmatizing people who are in quarantine. They are making the right choice for their communities.
  • Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin.

Additional Resources

 

Multilingual resources on COVID-19

ASL Services

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Did You Know? video in American Sign Language
  • COVID-19 Visual Communication Tool. Medical Providers can use the icons, and communication tips, to: communicate illness prevention, determine symptoms, severity and timeframe,communicate treatment and ongoing care and learn the preferred method of communication. Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals can use the icons to help communicate preferred method of communication, symptoms, severity and timeframe, ask questions about care, know where to get current information regarding coronavirus. - Download the Visual Communication Tool

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing

 

Online and Telephone Peer Supports

Peer support workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process who help others experiencing similar situations. They are often free and open to anyone*. The Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community (RLC) has compiled a list of peer support groups hosting sessions online and via phone:

*While most sessions are free and open to the public, it is strongly advised that you contact the organizer of the meeting you wish to attend to confirm.

 

News and social media accounts to follow

There's a lot of information being shared about COVID-19. Not all of it is accurate and the bombardment of news and updates can add to an already stressful situation. To stay informed, but not overwhelmed, bookmark the following websites and follow the following Twitter accounts:

Websites:

Twitter:

 

Mental Health Crisis Support

  • Contact your behavioral health provider to see if they can schedule a telehealth visit. Telehealth is a virtual therapy session. Many providers are now offering this option.
  • Contact Samaritans 24/7. Call or text our 24/7 helpline any time at 1-877-870-4673.
  • Contact Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741
  • Visit the new Massachusetts Network of Care website to locate behavioral health resources in your area.
  • Contact SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline. The Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Contact the Massachusetts Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention (ESP/MCI) - 1-877-382-1609 (read more about this program)

Contact

Phone

Informational and referral hotline 211

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

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