Mental Health Resources to Help You Cope During COVID-19
If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
The coronavirus has upended many people’s lives as the United States and countries around the world go under lockdown. If you are grappling with how to make sense of your life with the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone.
Managing your health, both mental and physical, during these times should be a priority. Organizations like the World Health Organization stress that its important to take care of “mental and psychosocial well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
That is easier said than done, however, especially for people whose mental health gets worse in isolation. As Mighty contributor Nicole D’Aloisio shared, she fears social distancing will have a negative impact on her depression:
As someone living with depression, I’m terrified. From an outsider’s perspective, it’d be hard to tell that I suffer daily from the trials and tribulations of depression. That is because through hard work and years of experience, I’ve established quite a “normal” life for myself.
If you’re currently struggling with your mental health and don’t know where to turn, check out the list of resources below. We gathered national, local and international resources that may be helpful for people looking for mental health help during the COVID-19 outbreak.
These following resources were created for people living in the U.S. These are all free guides and tips, but message and data rates may apply for the phone numbers and texting services listed.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention published a blog post that gives suggestions for taking care of one’s mental health while dealing with uncertain situations, like the coronavirus. These recommendations include doing what you have to do to feel safe in your new normal and reaching out if you need support.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America shared helpful tips on how to manage anxiety during COVID-19 and relevant articles in a guide. This guide includes blog posts from ADAA on how to cope with being the target of anti-Asian racism during COVID-19, advice for practicing mindfulness in times of stress and suggestions on how to limit panic that one might be experiencing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has resources on its website on advice for how to manage the stress and anxiety that can come with the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC outlines things people can do to support themselves, reduce stress and advice for how parents can help children cope with fears and disruptions that have come with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Crisis Text Line connects people in a crisis to counselors in the United States, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. For those in the U.S., you can text HOME to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor 24/7.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) put together a guide offering resources and suggestions for questions and issues that people living with mental illness may be having, such as how to cope with loneliness from being self-isolated or quarantined and anxiety during this outbreak. You can also call the NAMI HelpLine from Mondays to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST at (800) 950-6264.
The National Council for Behavioral Health provides resources for both behavioral health organizations and people navigating behavioral health issues, including advice for how to cope with overwhelming anxiety that people may be experiencing.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has advice and guidelines for how people with substance abuse issues can continue their recovery while self-isolating, like this list of virtual recovery resources.
Statewide and Local Resources
These are some resources that are available right now in states that are experiencing coronavirus outbreaks. If your state is not listed, there may be alternatives to the services listed below. Message and data rates may apply for the phone numbers and texting services listed.
California’s Department of Health Care Services released a guide to answer questions that people with mental health issues may have, with resources that are relevant to the state. NAMI’s California chapter also published a blog post that includes resources on how to cope with the anxiety that people may be experiencing.
Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) is a resource that people can call if they are experiencing mental health or physical health emergency at 1-800-715-4225, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. GCAL also launched an app in January 2019 which is targeted towards minors in Georgia called MY GCAL.
New York State
New York State Governor Cuomo announced that the state launched a hotline staffed by mental health professionals to help New Yorkers experiencing mental health issues associated with the coronavirus. You can call the hotline at (844) 863-9314 for free.
If you live in Ohio, the Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMAS) and Medicaid are implementing emergency rules to allow people to access behavior healthcare through telehealth. You can call the OhioMHAS Help Line at 1-877-275-6364.
National Alliance on Mental Health’s Southwest Washington Division is offering meetings on Zoom. Other local state mental health organizations have started to do the same as stay-at-home orders rise across the country. You can check your local NAMI chapter to see if it is already offering virtual support services.
The resources listed in this section are for people living internationally in the following countries. If the country that you are living in is not listed, there may be similar alternatives offered through mental health non-profits and agencies in your country. Message and data rates may apply for the phone numbers and texting services listed.
The Australian mental health organization Lifeline shared mental health and wellbeing tips to help Australians cope with the coronavirus. You can also call Lifeline’s support line at 13 11 14, text at 0477 13 11 14 or chat with a counselor on their website.
Canadians experiencing mental health emergencies can call the Crisis Services Canada national line: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645. People living in Québec should call 1-866-277-3553.
Alberta Health Services also launched the Text4Hope program this past Monday where Albertans can receive daily messages focused on positive thinking. Albertan residents can text COVID19HOPE to the number 393939 to opt into the program.
Student Minds, a charity in the United Kingdom, launched a guide to help students cope during the coronavirus outbreak. This guide includes tips like the importance of getting into a routine and underlines how the coronavirus pandemic will likely have mental health ramifications on university-aged students.
If you have suggestions for other mental health resources that people can use during the coronavirus epidemic, please add them in the comments below.
Image via Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash