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COVID-19 and Mental Health

Mental health is a fundamental and essential component of overall health.  An individual’s mental health can impact how they cope with every day stressors as well as situations which may result in emotional trauma.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus (also called COVID-19) a pandemic.  That designation and the actions put in place to try and reduce the curve (closings of many businesses and schools, social distancing as well as insistence of staying home) have resulted in overwhelming feelings of anxiousness/anxiety, worry and separation.

The 24/7 news cycles which release update upon update, can add to the mounting sense of anxiety felt among children as well as adults.  These are common feelings, even for those not directly impacted.  To help manage and reduce stress, it is important to take time to care for yourself.  The following strategies may be helpful;

  • Take the recommended and necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe
  • Try and limit screen time on electronic devices. Also, try and limit news intake to new information and stick to reliable news sources (there is no benefit to watching the same news over and over)
  • Try and maintain a schedule as close to your overall daily routine (even if some changes are necessary)
  • Don’t completely isolate yourself; even if quarantined, it is beneficial to keep social interactions with friends and family (phone, text messaging, social media, etc.)
  • Try and stay physically active

The following documents are provided for additional information.

Should you or your family member need additional mental health assistance during this difficult time, the following resources may be helpful; 

  • The New York COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314
  • Your health insurer’s Mental Health Program (contact number typically on back of insurance card)
    • For NYS Empire Plan 1-877-769-7447 (Beacon Health #3)
  • Network mental health providers through your health insurer that provide telehealth services (through phone or video)
  • Telemedicine program offered through your employer or health plan; services through phone or video
  • Your employer’s Employee Assistance Program
  • SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline 1-800-985-5990