May is Mental Health Awareness Month
It’s important to recognize your emotions and feelings when facing adversity and challenges in your life. Reaching out to others for support and creating healthy routines to take care of yourself can increase your sense of well-being.
COVID19 and Shelter in Place have created stress, worry and uncertainty for most of us. Taking an online mental health assessment is one of the quickest and easiest ways to conduct a mental health check-up and learn what useful resources are available to you.
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Lifeline, a 24/7 hotline can be reached at (800) 273-8255.
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Worry is a normal part of life. Most people worry about everyday things such as family, work pressures, health, or money. Worrying about these kinds of things does not typically get in the way of everyday life. However, excessive worry can lead to emotional and mental distress, such as severe anxiety and/or depression.
Learn the signs and symptoms of anxiety:
- HelpGuide: Do you worry excessively or feel tense and anxious all day long? Learn about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Anxiety disorders can impact even the smallest details of life. It’s important to get help and learn how to remain resilient during difficult times. Here are some ways you can help yourself move forward:
- HelpGuide: Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Worry.
- Mental Health of America: Discover different the ways to help treat your anxiety.
- Harvard Health Publishing: Managing worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
The COVID-19 crisis has transformed the way people connect with one another. Physical distancing and quarantine means no gatherings, no dating, no dinner parties and limited outdoor activities. During these unusual times, many people feel lonely and isolated. Loneliness has been linked to both negative emotional and physical well-being, so it's more important now than ever to find ways to connect.
Learn the signs and symptoms of depression:
- Mental Health America: Take an online depression screen—it's free, quick, and confidential.
- Credible Mind: Take this assessment to find out if it's just an "off day" or something more.
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America: There are different types of depressive disorders, and while there are many similarities among them, each depressive disorder has its own unique set of symptoms.
Physical distancing and shelter-in-place is the 'new normal' amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Learn how to cope with social isolation and get tips to stay connected.
- Northwestern University: Social isolation affects your mood—learn strategies to cope with being stuck at home.
- SAMHSA: Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak.
- National Council on Aging: Get tips on how to stay connected.
Mental health and substance abuse affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. As we all learn how to navigate this time of extraordinary uncertainty, it is normal to feel stress, anxious, and fearful. Sometimes these overwhelming feelings of emotions can lead us to self-medicate in order to help us cope. Learn how to recognize the signs of substance abuse and how to get help.
Learn the signs and symptoms of substance abuse:
- HelpGuide: Explore the warning signs and symptoms and learn how substance abuse problems develop.
- Mental Health America: Determine if your use of alcohol or drugs is an area to address.
- American Addiction Centers: Take this assessment to learn more about your — or your loved one's — potential addiction severity.
The risk of substance abuse increases greatly during times of transition. Find the support you need today.
- SAMHSA - Virtual Recovery Resources: If you are working on substance abuse recovery, help and support are available even during shelter in place.
- American Addiction Centers: Managing addiction and work during the pandemic.
- Al-anon - Groups for loved ones of those abusing alcohol.
- NAR-ANON Family Groups for families & friends of addicts.
Sometimes people experiencing mental health conditions need to do more self-care day-in and day-out to feel good or even just okay. Self-help resources can be useful but should not take the place of professional care if you suffer from a mental health condition. Common self-help recommendations include exercise, meditation, a mindfulness practice and reading self-help books - all helpful to many people.
This is an extraordinarily trying time, here are some tips for practicing self-care in the face of the unique disruptions caused by the Coronavirus.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.
- Mental Health America: Identify tools and develop plans to help you be more prepared and empowered to take action when it comes to your mental health.
- Self Help Resources: Help is available. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing an array of emotions and need extra support.
- Self Care Tips: It’s important to not forget about taking care of yourself during this stressful time. Learn how to take simple steps to improve your overall well-being and health so that you are in a strong and stable position to help others do the same.