Voice of America Episode Reflects on Effects of the Pandemic on Mental Health

Page updated on May 28, 2021 at 1:27 PM

Voice of America Episode Reflects on Effects of the Pandemic on Mental Health


May 28, 2021--DCHS Senior Therapist Supervisor Angela Connor and Alexandria resident Henry Johnson are among others from Alexandria and North Carolina who reflect on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in a special edition of the Voice of America (VOA) Connect entitled Alone Together: Mental Health .

VOA produces digital, television and radio content in over 40 languages and distributes it to affiliate stations around the world. An audio version and transcript of Alone Together is also available.

Connor is  a licensed professional counselor and works in the Child and Family Behavioral Health Services. Johnson, who participates in Alexandria Community Services Board (CSB) services and programs through the DCHS Center for Adult Services, is a Peer Recovery Specialist for Fairfax County and mental health advocate; he has shared his story before on DCHS Connect .

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report indicating that feelings of fear, grief and isolation during the pandemic are increasing the risk for mental health problems like anxiety and depression. 

DCHS provides a wide range of mental health resources, including:

  • COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide, a collection of resources for people of all ages and abilities

  • Multicultural Mental Health Resources, including resources for immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community

  • Race-Based Trauma Resources, for dealing with racism and trauma on individual, interpersonal, community, national and global levels 

  • Resilience Week Virginia 2021 resources, which includes daily ideas for building resilience in personal lives as well as the community

  • Mental health online screening tool, a free, anonymous tool to help users determine whether professional consultation would be helpful

  • Kognito, a unique online training tool that uses simulation and role-play conversations to develop skills in recognizing students in mental distress and initiating conversations

  • Suicide prevention resources, for getting help or helping to support someone in crisis

  • This is Recovery, a video featuring men and women across Northern Virginia who share their stories of recovery to help others dealing with similar challenges. Learn more and watch the video.

In addition, residents can access the Virginia COPES non-crisis support line by phone or text at 877.349.6428, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Support services are provided for anyone struggling with trauma, grief or distress and community resources referral is available. The City also has several 24-hour crisis hotlines. If you or a loved one are in danger of self-harm, please dial 911 or go immediately to your nearest emergency room. 

For the latest information on resources for those affected by the pandemic or in need, follow DCHS on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to the Spanish Text Line by texting ALEXINFOESP to 88877.