Access Resources to Cope with Pandemic and Holiday Related Stress, and Address Racial Trauma, Abuse and Substance Use

Page updated on Dec 11, 2020 at 10:32 AM

Access Resources to Cope with Pandemic and Holiday Related Stress, and Address Racial Trauma, Abuse and Substance Use


Coronavirus HeadlinesDecember 11, 2020--Recently, the City noted that individual and collective stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be linked to a local increase in emergency room visits related to mental health  as well as a statewide increase in drug overdoses in Virginia. DCHS reminds residents that resources are available to help cope with pandemic-related stress and anxiety, holiday stress, mental health crises and substance use issues.

Mental Health Resources

The holidays are normally a time of increased stress, but this year’s holiday stress may be compounded by feelings of isolation and depression related to physical distancing requirements due to the pandemic. 

In addition, pervasive exposure to discrimination and racism, including the two recent killings of Casey Goodman and Martika Ferguson, can create additional daily stressors and retraumatization, especially for people of color. 

DCHS maintains a number of resources to help manage stress during this time, including:

In addition, those dealing with parenting issues or experiencing distress, grief or trauma caused by the pandemic can talk with trained staff who provide support and resources through non-emergency warmlines:

  • Parent Support Line, 703.324.7720 or text “support” or “parenting” to 30644 (M-F, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; English and Spanish available)

Those feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like they want to harm themselves or others should call:

Substance Use Disorder Resources

With the statewide rise in drug overdoses, City officials are concerned that stress related to the pandemic may be linked to increased substance use. The City offers a variety of recovery programs and other resources to related to treatment for substance use disorders:

Of the 2,053 fatal drug overdoses in Virginia in the first half of 2020--a 66.8% increase from the same period in 2019, 7,701 were opioid related. The City offers free Narcan, an easy-to-use nasal spray that can save the life of someone overdosing from opioids, to Alexandria residents by mail or appointment. Obtain Narcan by mail by emailing your name and address to or pick up a dose by calling the Alexandria Health Department at 703.746.4888 or the City’s Opioid Response Coordinator at 703.746.3326. Narcan is also available at pharmacies without a prescription. 

24/7 Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Protective Services and Resources

During a crisis like COVID-19 pandemic, the risk for intimate partner and domestic violence increases and may happen at higher rates. View and share a flyer on how to recognize signs of abuse in children and adults and access 24/7 crisis support at: