This guide provides some resources to help with the life changes and heightened stress and anxiety as a result of COVID-19. Please feel free to pick and choose to share with your networks.
Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Managing Stress and Anxiety
Mental Health and Coping during COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers ways for individuals, parents, responders and people released from quarantine to cope with the pandemic.
- Reducing stress in yourself and others
- Information for parents
- Information for responders
- Information for people released from quarantine
In this New York Times article, University of Pennsylvania professor Adam Grant gives us a new word to describe what you may have been feeling lately - "languishing." Languishing is void between depression and flourishing and .can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021. Learn more about it and what to do about it here.
Virginia Commonwealth University offers great tips and resources for maintaining wellness that are simple, supportive, and can apply to everyone.
- Very Well Mind provides practical strategies and information for building resilience through self-regulation.
- The World Health Organization provides specific tips
and resources for the general population, people in isolation, health care
workers, team leaders and managers, care providers for children, and care
providers for older adults.
- HOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences) from Tufts’ Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies lists 10 ways we can reduce ACEs and toxic stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are concerned that increased stress might increase the risk for ACEs. For example, most child abuse happens when adults reach their breaking point. However, we are not powerless in the face of these challenges.
- FACE COVID, a free ebook by Dr. Russ Harris, offers a set of practical steps for managing anxiety and responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). For an animated version of this tool, click here. For a one-page infographic of the tool, click here.
- This web page, updated daily by the Anxiety and Depression
Association of America contains links to a wide variety of resources for coping
with general anxiety and some specific anxiety disorders during COVID-19,
including articles, information sheets, blog posts, and videos.
- This tip sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides information on typical reactions to social distancing, quarantine and isolation and ways to take care of oneself. The sheet also provides a list of hotlines and other resources for obtaining help.
- Seven helpful tips from Harvard Health Publishing.
- What we can all do to cope with stress? The How Right Now campaign, developed by NORC at the University of Chicago with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and funded by the CDC Foundation, strives to answer that question through a social media campaign. The social media posts target different at-risk groups with useful tips. How Right Now's website also features an interactive tool to help users find resources that address their specific concern. Resources include fact sheets, articles, webinars, mobile apps and crisis hotlines from a variety of reputable organizations. None of us are on our own when it comes to dealing with stress. Visit www.howrightnow.org to explore the resources and find more information.
Resources for Practicing Self-Care and Resilience
- The Daily Good provides strategies for integrating gratefulness into your daily practices to build greater capacity to face what is challenging.
- This is your mental health toolkit during this time. The team at Shine, in partnership with Mental Health America, has vetted and compiled a wealth of research-backed and helpful tools for you—articles, meditations, access to mental health experts, anxiety screenings and more.
- Mindful Junkie and @breathr have partnered to deliver free, daily LIVE Mindful Meditation Moments. The meditations are streamed LIVE twice a day at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time for 5 - 10 mins. Ways to join: Zoom, Instagram & Facebook - follow @breathr_vr and @mindfuljunkie.
- This article provides information and easy tips on overall health and wellness, including healthy eating and exercise, as well as mindfulness skills.
- Mental Health First Aid offers these easy self-care strategies that can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, or prevent anxiety before it even starts, while practicing physical distancing. Use these tips from the MHFA curriculum to take care of your mental health while practicing physical distancing.
- Greater Richmond SCAN created these two colorful handouts for kids and adults which include 20 creative ways to build resilience, including links to external resources.
- Popular apps for easing anxiety and
practicing mindfulness. Both offer free trials and free basic packages.
- A smartphone app designed to help support individuals in recovery from substance use disorder and is scientifically proven to support patients in recovery by reducing relapse and promoting pro-social engagement.
- Developed by psychologists and educators, this app offers a wide variety of programs for all ages. Particularly if you feel anxious about the coronavirus or your kids feel stressed about disruptions to their everyday normal lives, this is an app that will have solutions for the whole family. The entire app is free!
Live Mindfulness for Fire Services, Law Enforcement and Medical Professionals - Zoom Link
- During this high-pressure time of COVID-19, Gina White, founder of Mindful Junkie, would like to offer support to Alexandria’s first responders (law enforcement, fire services, health care providers). Beginning on April 1, 2020, Gina will be hosting live, brief (5-10 minute), stress regulation mindfulness meditations every Day @ 2:00 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. (Eastern Time) for free. This is an exclusive invite - only for those working in medicine (any capacity), fire and law enforcement (including dispatch). This link can be shared with anyone in your network that falls into this category.
- This blog post from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
provides five suggestions for coping with the uncertainty due to COVID-19.
- Ten Percent Happier offers practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear, and anxiety. The meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks on their page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos. Ten Percent Happier would like to support healthcare workers by offering free access to their app. Click here to register.
Support for LGBT Older Adults
- Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders (SAGE) is offering support for LGBT older adults who feel isolated during this time by matching them with community members to connect and share what's going on in their day or just to say "hi." The SAGE hotline is 877-360-LGBT (5428) for help. For more information about the Sage connect program, visit sageusa.org/sageconnect. To register for the program call 929-484-4160.
Parenting/Caregiver Guides to help support kids through the COVID-19 Crisis
- A two-sided flyer in four languages that highlights tips for self-care, surviving telecommunity and homeschooling, talking to children about COVID-19 and helping them cope with stress.
- Tips for caregivers on how to Survive Telecommuting and Homeschooling.
- Tools for caregivers to help them calm their stress response when it isn’t helping. These tools can be used in this or any other situation.
- People who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander are currently being subjected to racism related to the COVID-19 virus. This resource provides tips for parents and caregivers on how to inform children in a developmentally appropriate manner that the disease is linked to a geographic location and not to a race or nationality.
- Kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark. Here’s what to say.
- Tips for nurturing and protecting children at home.
- Anxiety in children sometimes manifest physically. Here’s what to watch for.
- Tips for teaching children how to build resilience and learn to calm themselves down, even when things feel scary.
- Go-to techniques for coaxing anxiety-prone children out of their fears from a mom who’s been there.
- Help yourself, and them, by learning techniques to manage stress in a healthy way.
- Kids who are acting out, melting down or being defiant may actually be seriously anxious.
- How to respect their feelings without empowering their fears.
- How a meditation practice can help kids (and parents) feel less anxious and more relaxed.
- Why it’s important for parents and caregivers to practice self-care and what you can do to make sure you are physically, emotionally and mentally capable of being there for our young children.
response to the COVID-19 emergency, Formed Families Forward will be hosting
their regular Stronger Together peer groups
for youth and young adults age 14-22, and for parent and caregivers VIRTUALLY
next week. Regular members of the groups have been sent the log-in information
for our March 24, 6:30 - 8 p.m. group meetings. New participants can register
at our regular Eventbrite site HERE. Log
in information will be sent to new registrants before 6 p.m. on March 24.
- Todos nos preocupamos por nuestros hijos. Cuando sus emociones o comportamiento están causando problemas para ellos, obtener información valiosa y clara es el primer paso para poder recibir ayuda. Los recursos que encontrará aquí exploran los problemas más comunes que escuchamos de los padres con niños que están teniendo dificultades con la salud mental o retos en el aprendizaje. Ofrecemos la información más reciente sobre lo que piensan los expertos y el entendimiento adquirido por otras familias para ayudarle a tomar decisiones informadas para su hijo.
- The Attachment and Trauma Network has some helpful, trauma-informed videos of tips for social distancing, an infographic of key parenting reminders, and free educator curricula on age specific social emotional learning, and resources to access.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network created a guide with facts about coronavirus and tips for preparing your family and helping children. The guide contains a useful grid of typical emotional and physical reactions children of different ages may have and how to respond to them.
- A multi-disciplinary team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has developed an online resource toolkit specifically for parents who have a family member with autism. This toolkit outlines and provides resources for seven strategies to support a family member with a developmental disability and help them with coping and calming skills, establish new routines, and safely maintain their social connections.
- Generations United compiled a list of COVID-19 resources specific for grandfamilies that addresses: access to frequently asked questions, grandfamily support programs, access to free or reduced meals from schools or other home delivery services, access to free or discounted internet, medication delivery, resources for talking to children about corona virus, resources for managing stress, anxiety, and back up planning.
- FosterClub is compiling resources for youth in and from foster care that includes support, storage, and moving help for displaced students; assistance with technical access for remote learning; and cell phones for those in need.
- FosterAdopt Connect offers advice and structure for families sequestered at home with kids who have experienced trauma. Are you trying to wrangle kids, manage challenging behaviors, work, and keep your home’s surfaces disinfected? FosterAdopt Connect offers advice and resources on maintaining a routine, doing activities, and practicing mindfulness.
- This web page from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic
Stress provides parents with specific suggestions for helping children cope
- This tip sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration provides caregivers, parents, and teachers with information on
reactions children and youth may have during an infectious disease outbreak and
how to support them. Some of the information is tailored for different age
- Learn more about the consequences of COVID on young children and how we can help our children right now and in the months and y ears to come in this video recording of a Facebook Live discussion hosted by Learn the Signs. Act Early. Virginia.
Coping Resources for Youth
- What is the goal of quarantine? How am I supposed to feel during quarantine? How do I manage my mental health? Check out the Center for Young Women’s Health guide to learn more.
- Click here to see the strength training exercises developed by Young Men’s Health.
- It's been a stressful time all around the world as we deal with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the uncertainty it brings. What life will look like over the next few months has changed and you might be feeling anxious about what this means. ReachOut put together some resources to help you manage your wellbeing through all this.
- Teens Health explains social distancing and what youth can do
- Teen Mental Health created this toolbox to help teens cope with COVID-19
- National Eating Disorder Association’s COVID-19 Resources
- Helpful tips, resources, and webinars from Active Minds for staying emotionally well during the pandemic
- COVID-19 has serious implications for the mental health of LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project developed this research report that: (1) outlines ways that physical distancing, economic strain, and increased anxiety related to COVID-19 may impact LGBTQ youth; and (2) explains how The Trevor Project and others can work to support LGBTQ youth during this time.
- Being a teen can be really stressful.
Mindfulness is a powerful way to handle stress, and live life more fully. You
can be mindful anytime, anywhere, no matter what you’re doing. This website,
created by pediatrician, Dr. Dzung X. Vo, provides information, tools, and
resources to help you get started. Dr. Dzung X. Vo specializes in adolescent
medicine and emphasizes promoting resilience in young people to help them
thrive in the face of stress and adversity.
- Feeling sad, stressed or angry while coping with COVID-19 is normal. It's not only the fear and anxiety about the coronavirus disease but also being away from schools, friends and relatives. Adjusting to new ways of learning and working is hard. But guess what? You are not alone. Discover the stories, illustrations and messages of support shared by the Voices of Youth community around the world trying to adapt to this new (temporary) normal. And share yours!
- Learn six strategies from Unicef for teens facing a new (temporary) normal.
- Helpful tips to take care of your mental health from Mental Health First Aid.
Join the #NoShame in My Game Campaign
- Did you know 5.1 million young adults reported having a substance use disorder and 87% were untreated? SAFE Project’s #NoShame campaign’s goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders that often prevents teens and young adults from getting the lifesaving help they need. SAFE Project is asking gamers to sign a pledge to speak up against online bullying when gaming and to be supportive of others who speak out about their own struggles with mental health and addiction. Learn more.
Guides for Caregivers for Older Adults
- Alzheimer’s Association provides tips for dementia caregivers at home and of individuals in assisted living.
- The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) provides Tips for Dementia Friends During COVID-19.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine offers information about caregiving for the elderly during COVID-19.
- AARP provides options for those with loved ones in a long-term care setting (Nursing Homes and Assisted Living).
Coping Resources and Information for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
- Located at the T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus, the Anne R. Lipnick Special Education Parent Resource Center (PRC) assists parents to become partners in their child's education. Focusing on the child's needs, the PRC promotes training parents to be advocates for their children while establishing cooperative partnerships between families and schools. The PRC serves the diverse families of children with disabilities, ages 2 to 22, in the Alexandria City community. To learn more about the PRC and access their services, visit their webpage, call 703-824-0129, or email Janet Reese or Courtney P. Davis, Ph.D. Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
- In its Guidance for Uncertain Times, CHADD offers lots of tips for kids with ADHD/ADD, including tips for creating structure and routine, attending school from home, and staying fit and healthy.
- The Arc of Northern Virginia is offering a plain language booklet about coronavirus for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- The Arc of NoVA also keeps a directory of information and referral database for people with special needs, families, caregivers and professionals to easily find service providers, resources and other support options in their area. This online provider directory provides names and contacts for a variety of providers, including mental health. They're all providers recommended by Arc staff or families because the practitioner does well with people with developmental disabilities.
- Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) provides helpful videos on Covid-19 and Early Childhood which help families develop new schedules using materials available at home and more.
- In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it can be difficult to wade through what will be an effective tool to cope with widespread disruptions to the daily lives of autistic children, teens and adults. Autism Speaks is leading the COVID-19 Autism Research Community Task Force to tap the rich knowledge and expertise of autism researchers during the pandemic and offer the best available evidence-based tools here for your use. Visit their webpage to explore COVID-19 information for families, adults on the spectrum, educators and paraprofessionals, non-English speakers.
- Dominion Youth Services is a provider of a broad array of services to include mental health, education, intellectual disabilities, and autism. DYS help children and adults diagnosed with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities gain independence and self-respect. Their Alexandria office can be reached at (571) 447-3296
- The Arc of NoVA keeps a directory of information and referral database for people with special needs, families, caregivers and professionals to easily find service providers, resources and other support options in their area. This online provider directory provides names and contacts for a variety of providers, including mental health. They're all providers recommended by Arc staff or families because the practitioner does well with people with developmental disabilities.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created and launched a toolkit with resources on how people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers can protect themselves from the virus. The toolkit includes stories, videos, posters and interactive activities that focus on getting a vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and getting a COVID-19 test. There is also a tip sheet for caregivers that offers suggestions on ways to ease their loved one’s worries about the virus. In addition to the toolkit, the CDC also developed videos and web resources in American Sign Language.
Strategies for Home Visitors
- Ways Infant Health providers can tailor strategies to practice a different model to support families remotely. This document was created by leadership representatives from MI-AIMH and the Alliance, Zero to Thrive at the University of MI and the Michigan Department of Human Services Children's Division.
- This guide was developed by a group of mental health providers and scholars who identify as immigrants, including current DACA recipients and individuals who are formerly undocumented. It was developed with the support of major immigrant serving organizations, such as Fwd.us, Immigrants Rising, and Informed Immigrant. This guide was written for those providing or planning to provide mental health and human services to individuals who benefit from DACA. This might include but is not limited to: mental health counselors, school and career counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists, as well as other health providers.
- Nationally, one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. Nearly one in five youth will experience a mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety at some point during their life, and suicide remains the third leading cause of death in this age group. Learn how to get help, prevent suicide and help someone in crisis.
For people who are experiencing emotional distress
Virginia COPES Warm Line
- The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), in conjunction with Mental Health America of Virginia, has established a COVID-19 Response Non-Emergency Warm Line for those struggling with distress, grief or trauma caused by COVID-19. Trained staff provide strength-based support, resilience building strategies and community resources and referrals for those in need. Call or text toll free 877.349.6428, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday - Friday, 5-9 p.m. Saturday - Sunday. Learn more about Virginia COPES and other resources available to Community Service Boards from state agencies.
- SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) offers this helpline for immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. For services in both English and Spanish, call 800.985.5990. To connect with a trained crisis counselor, text TalkWithUs (for English) or Hablanos (for Spanish) to 66746.