Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself and Others

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Provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Capital Area Chapter

During this unprecedented global public health crisis, many people are feeling the stress of the COVID-19 health threat: concerns about becoming ill, uncertainty about the future, possible financial strain, and dramatic changes in daily routines. Individuals respond to stress in different ways. Some, specially those with mental health conditions, are prone to negative impact on their mood, anxiety, sleep and overall well-being. This is a critically important time for everyone to take extra care to protect their mental health. Here are five practical tips from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Capital Area Chapter (AFSP-NCAC) to help you support your own and others’ mental health during these challenging times.

Visit afsp.org/COVID19

Here, you’ll find advice and guidance, resources and programs, tools for social sharing and public messages.

Be Proactive Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Check out the blog post “Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty,” by AFSP Vice President of Mission Engagement Dr. Doreen Marshall, for useful tips and tools.

Stay Connected and Check In

Though we may be physically distancing, it is more important than ever for us to stay socially connected. Fortunately, we live in a digital world that allows us to do this from afar. Schedule a virtual get together with your family and friends or simply reach out to a loved one to say “I’m here for you” or “I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing.” These simple actions and phrases can mean the world to someone going through a hard time – and they may even save a life!

Attend a Virtual AFSP Educational Program

The AFSP-NCAC is providing free, evidence-based educational programing online. Find and register for one of our upcoming presentations at afsp.org/NCACevents. Programs include:

  • Talk Saves Lives is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide.
  • It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health is a documentary featuring the stories of six college students from across the country designed to raise awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students, and is intended to be used as part of a school’s educational program to encourage help-seeking.
  • More Than Sad (for Parents and Other Caring Adults) teaches parents how to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with their child, and get help.
  • Giving Back Feels Good Volunteer with AFSP to help create a culture that is smart about mental health through education & community programs, research & advocacy, and support. Visit org/NCAC to learn more about our upcoming opportunities, events and resources in our community.

Out of the Darkness Community Walks

Also, you can register to walk this fall at an Out of the Darkness Community Walk! Find a walk near you at afsp.org/Walk.

  • Sept. 13 Manassas Walk
  • Sept. 19 Loudoun Walk
  • Oct. 4 Fairfax Walk
  • Oct. 24 Washington, D.C.

We are in this together, and help is always available.  If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK or DHOH (Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing) to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Learn more at afsp.org.

 The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with programs and events nationwide. The AFSP National Capital Area Chapter serves the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia areas.

 

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