by Christy Bieber | March 19, 2020
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If you're worried about your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, check out these resources.
COVID-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, leading to draconian measures to prevent its spread. These include social distancing -- staying at home and limiting contact with others. Unfortunately, the closure of businesses to help limit the spread of the virus also means the economic impact is substantial, and many people face a reduction or loss of income.
All these factors, naturally, can create substantial stress and anxiety and affect mental health. And when you're worried about your health, your financial situation, or the world as a whole, this can also create conditions that are very difficult for people in recovery.
Getting help with mental health or addiction may seem especially difficult when so much of the world is shut down, or if your income has been cut by coronavirus-related closures. However, there are resources available online and in person to help you get the support you need. We've compiled a list of these resources to help you find assistance no matter where you are.
If you're feeling depressed, anxious, or otherwise worried about your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, or if you are in recovery or struggling with addiction, these resources can help.
If you need immediate mental health assistance or want help without leaving home, try these:
Many licensed clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are providing phone and video appointments during the coronavirus crisis for patients who want to remain in their homes to practical social distancing. If you have a provider, contact them to find out if they will offer you a telehealth appointment. You can also reach out to your insurer to find in-network counselors in your area.
There are several associations that offer low-cost mental healthcare solutions regardless of insurance status. Options include:
State governments and local nonprofits may also offer mental health assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in New York City, the nonprofit Fountain House is developing a virtual support community in response to COVID-19.
You can check your local Department of Health and Human Services website to find out about support programs and services where you live.
If you work for an employer with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), that program may enable you to connect with mental health counselors at no cost. Often, a consultation with a mental health professional can happen over the telephone.
School counselors can also provide support to young people. The American School Counselor Association has made resources available, including a guide to help parents talk with their children about the coronavirus.
During stressful times, it's important to get the help you need if you're dealing with mental health or addiction issues. You should also aim to stay connected to loved ones as much as possible through telephone and video chat contact, and take breaks from the news if stories about COVID-19 are increasing your stress or anxiety.
Building an emergency fund in a high-yield savings account can also help alleviate financial anxiety, as can creating a plan to make smart financial decisions as you cope with the effects of the coronavirus.
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