Mental Health Information & Resources
June 8, 2020
-According to the Household Pulse Survey, it is estimated that between 33 and 35% of
Americans were experiencing symptoms of either an Anxiety Disorder or a
Depressive Disorder between April 30-May 19, 2020. This means for those
individuals experiencing symptoms, they were occurring nearly all day, every
day for more than half the days of the week. These percentages are
an increase in the typical percentage of people reporting such symptoms.
-According to YouGov, 55% of people polled in the U.S. report fear of catching COVID-19 as
-Nearly 50% of Americans polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that the
pandemic is harming their mental health.
-The demand for mental health services has increased as a result. An emergency
distress hotline run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
reported a 1000% increase in calls and texts to the hotline in April 2020.
Signs of Depression:
Depressed mood, feeling sad, increased fatigue, sleep difficulties, low motivation,
difficulty completing day to day tasks, feeling empty, hopeless, helpless,
thoughts of death or dying, social withdrawal or isolation, apathy
Signs of Anxiety:
Feeling nervous, worried, or on edge, excessive worry that the person is unable to
control even with logic, sense of impending doom, difficulty sleeping, heart
palpitations, difficulty concentrating, irritability, avoidance
-It’s important to understand that current events cause fear for many, and when our
brains perceive a threat, fear is a typical and automatic survival
response. Our body’s fight/flight/freeze mechanism kicks in to help
us get through the crisis. This response is meant to be temporary to get
us through the crisis and survive.
-When the crisis or event that is causing distress keeps going, our bodies and
brains, our fight/flight/freeze response becomes chronic and can cause us to
experience many of the symptoms of depression and anxiety noted above.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health During a Public Health Crisis:
- Focus on what you can control
- Stay informed about what is happening while also limiting the amount of time spent
watching the news or on social media
-Give yourself permission to grieve changes and losses that have happened because of
the pandemic. These could be things like loss of life, but as humans, we
also grieve the loss of expectations, loss of things we were anticipating, loss of
financial security, typical life transitions like the end of the school year or
moving into retirement.
-Remind yourself that plans don’t need to be abandoned, but may happen in different
timeframes then you anticipated
-Keep connected to those you love and care about, even if it can’t be face to face or
in person. Technology in 2020 has given us amazing ways to stay connected
even when we can’t be physically together.
-Practice different ways of relaxing your body. These can include meditation, deep
breathing, yoga among others. There are many great apps such as Headspace
and Calm to help guide you through meditation and relaxation exercises.
Don’t worry if it’s hard at first, each of these takes practice to do
effectively and are best practiced when you are already calm. It’s a little bit like riding a bike- once you get good at it when things are calm, your mind and body are able to do it much easier when you are not feeling calm.
-Talk about what you’re feeling and experiencing with others you trust and care
about. It can help to learn that others feel or think similarly and that
you are not alone.
-Have a self-care buddy who can tap you out if you become too focused on negative
things or caught up in “what ifs”
-Consider keeping a journal to process thoughts, emotions, and refocus yourself
-Consider talking to a professional. There are a great mental health
professionals in our area who are ready to help. During the crisis,
restrictions around telehealth have been eased to make counseling more
accessible. To find a therapist or counselor who accepts your insurance,
use the customer service number on the back of your insurance card or go
through your insurance company’s website to find a provider. Most
providers also have self-pay options if you do not have insurance or do not
want to use your insurance. They can also direct you to alternate
funding options that may be available through your county.
-If you are overwhelmed with emotions or thinking about harming yourself or someone
else, call 911, Dauphin County Crisis (717) 232-7511, the National Suicide
Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or the Crisis Text Line 741741.
You are not alone and help is available.
-Dauphin County Crisis Intervention 717-232-7511
-National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
-Crisis Text Line: text PA to 741741
- Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990
- Veterans in crisis: veteranscrisisline.net
-Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or text 838255
- PA’s Support & Referral Helpline 1-855-284-2494
-CDC: Coping with Stress bitly.com-covid-coping
-Mental Health America www.mhanational.org/covid19
-Trevor Project TrevorLifeline for LGBTQ+ youth 1-866-488-7386
-Headspace app https://www.headspace.com/
- Calm app www.calm.com
Abuse and Mental Health Administrations website with tips for social distancing
and managing isolation during quarantine:
Mental Health America website with a variety of COVID-19
resources including managing anxiety, tips for parents, specific resources for
first responders, healthcare providers, caregivers, older adults, LGBTQ+
individuals, domestic violence survivors, and veterans
American Psychological Association’s monthly report on
Stress in America 2020 with poll results related to how the pandemic is
impacting stress levels among Americans.
These are more for community leaders:
June 8, 2020
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