Mental Health & Wellness during COVID-19

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Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Managing your emotional and mental health

FlowerSeeing or hearing news about COVID-19 while also sheltering in place may make you feel anxious, isolated, and stressed. This is normal. In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, monitoring your own physical and mental health takes on added importance. Know the signs of stress in yourself and your loved ones. Know how to relieve stress, and know when to get help.

Feelings of grief are also normal. The COVID-19 pandemic can create grief on many levels. Different stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is important to know that these stages do not necessarily happen in a particular order. Some people may not experience any of these stages. Others may only experience one or two stages, rather than all five.

If you need to use mental health services, check the resources below and remember you are safe in Sonoma County. All residents can receive services here regardless of immigration status.

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Local Resources

Other Resources

  • Contact the National Disaster Distress Helpline (English and Spanish)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
    • NAMI Sonoma County Support Line: 1 (866) 960-6264 (Monday-Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm PST)
    • For mental health resources, NAMI Hotline: 1 (800) 950-6264 (Monday-Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm EST)
  • Mental Health Association of San Francisco: 1 (855) 845-7415, (California peer-run warm line, 24/7)
  • 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (808) 799-7233 or click Chat Now

Coping with stress and anxiety

  • heartTalk with people you trust. Contact your friends and family through social media, video chat, phone calls, or email. Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing!
  • While staying at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a proper diet, get plenty of sleep, and make time to exercise. Create a routine and do your best to stick to it.
    • Consider turning part of your living space into a workout area. Use YouTube workouts or FaceTime/Skype/Zoom to create your own group workouts.
    • If you have stairs, make a few extra trips up and down each day. 
    • If you don’t have space at home, take daily walks while keeping a safe distance from others who may be out walking and remember to bring a face covering.
  • Spend time outside each day. Consider engaging in activities like gardening, riding a bike, or hiking. Make sure to bring a face covering with you in case you encounter others. And always stay six feet apart. 
  • Don’t use smoking, alcohol, or other drugs to deal with your emotions.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counselor. Have a plan. Know where to go and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs.
  • Get the facts. Gather information that will help you determine your risks. This way, you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible website you can trust such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), or a local or state public health agency.
  • Limit the time you spend taking in media coverage. It is always good to stay informed. However, spending too much time with upsetting news may cause more worry and agitation.
  • Draw on skills you have used in the past that have helped you manage life’s previous adversities. Use those skills to help you manage your emotions during this outbreak.

OrganizeResources for coping with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Helping children cope with stress and anxietyPlay

Children respond to stress in different ways. They may act clingy, anxious, withdrawn, angry or agitated.

  • Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way. Listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention.
  • Let your child’s questions guide how much information you share. Provide facts about what has happened. 
  • Give clear information about how to reduce their risk of becoming infected by the disease. Use age appropriate words that they can understand.
  • Talk about what could happen in a reassuring way. For example, explain that a family member who does not feel well may have to go to the hospital for a while so doctors can help them feel better.
  • Remember to speak kindly and reassure your child.
  • Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or create new ones.
  • If possible, create opportunities to play and relax.
  • Avoid separating children and their caregivers if possible. If separation occurs (e.g., hospitalization), ensure regular contact (e.g., via phone) and reassurance.

TalkResources for mental and behavioral health organizations

Addiction and Recovery Resources

Online Recovery Meetings