Mental Health Resources
Pandemics are stressful and can bring up overwhelming emotions. While necessary, guidelines such as social distancing can make people feel isolated or can intensify feelings of isolation that were already present. Coping with stressors in a healthly way can will not only put your mind at ease but may also have other positive health benefits. Below are some resources for those experiencing depression, anxiety, or suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, suicide is especially tragic because it can be prevented. Symptoms and warning signs include:
- Talking about suicide or making statements involving wanting to kill one's self
- Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
- Being preoccupied with dying, death, or violence
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Changing a normal routine, such as sleeping patterns or eating habits
- Giving away belongings when there's no logical reason to do so
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide:
- Call 911 immediately
- Call a suicide hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one even if it's hard to talk about your feelings
- Make an appointment with your doctor, healthcare provider, or mental health professional
Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you think, feel, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and over-sleeping
- Tiredness or lack of energy or motivation making even small tasks difficult to perform
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- If you or someone you know exhibits signs of depression, contact your doctor or a mental health professional.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers comprehensive information on mental health, including support groups, education, and a COVID-19 guideline. They also offer the NAMI HelpLine, which can be reached Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
The CDC provides a 'Coping with Stress' guide for the pandemic, including guides on taking care of yourself, recovering from COVID-19, or ending home isolation.