Guide to taking care of your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The emotional impact of an emergency on a person can depend on the person’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the person and their community, and the availability of local resources. People can become more distressed if they see repeated images or hear repeated reports about the outbreak in the media.
Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster. Connect with family, friends, and others in your community. Take care of yourself and each other, and know when and how to seek help.
Connecting Summit County
Help us connect Summit County during the Coronavirus outbreak by sharing your stories, tips and inspiration. You may submit your messages here, tag us on social media #CONNECTSummitCounty or send us an email at [email protected]
Virtual Mental Health Support
We will be offering FREE ongoing virtual Mental Health Support Groups for topics that include Finding Calm in the Panic, Power of What I Can Do vs. What I Can’t Do and Staying Mentally Balanced During These Unprecedented Times. See our event calendar, Facebook or Instagram pages for the latest updates.
Crisis and non-Crisis Resources
Your mental health matters and Summit County offers residents many resources.
- Summit County Crisis Number. (833) 995-1295. Crisis line exclusive to Summit County. English and Spanish speaking.
- SafeUT App. Download SafeUT App for free Crisis Services. Monitored 24/7 by clinicians who respond to all chats, texts and calls.
- Park City Psychiatry and Counseling offers counseling services and medication management. Currently moving patients to tele-conferencing on a base-by-case basis. 750 Round Valley Drive; (435) 940-5670.
- Hospital – Round Valley Clinic. Psychiatric clinic offers same-day and next-day crisis appointments. Tuesday – Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; (435) 940-5670; Round Valley Drive Suite 202, Park City. Currently offering crisis services on a case-by-case basis.
- Call 911 or go to the ER- If in immediate danger.
- Peer Navigation Services – CONNECT Summit County’s free service helps all residents of Summit County navigate your options for local treatment, support groups and more. (435) 776-HELP (4357); [email protected]
- Mental Health Resource Directory – CONNECTSummitCounty.org has Summit County’s largest online directory of providers, support groups and services.
- Healthy U Behavioral – Uninsured? On Medicaid? Call Healthy U Behavioral at (833) 981-0212 to find services and schedule an appointment.
- Habla Español – Summit County Health Department (435) 333-1500; Christian Center of Park City (435) 709-5805; Jewish Family Service (435) 731-8455; Peace House. (800) 647-9161
Providers Offering Mental Health Tele-Health Services
- Christian Center of Park City counselors are available virtually at (435) 649-2260 x 1 or email [email protected] A Child and Adolescent therapist can be contacted directly at [email protected]
- UNI Walk-in Clinic serves as a crisis walk-in clinic and is currently only offering tele-health appointments for existing patients. (435) 658-5461.
Online Support for Those in Recovery
- Sasquatch Area of Narcotics Anonymous serves Summit and Wasatch Counties. sasquatchareana.org
- Alcoholics Anonymous is offering phone meetings seven days a week. aaphonemeetings.org
- Recovered Life. Lianne MacGregor, MA MED ACC of Recovered Life is offering coaching by phone or Zoom for those in recovery. Email [email protected]
- In the Rooms is a global recovery community that gives recovering addicts recovery space when they can’t meet face-to-face. intherooms.com
- Recovery Dharma organizes daily meetings with Buddhist teachings accessible via computer, smartphone or dial-in. recoverydharma.online
- SMART Recovery’s online meetings help participants resolve problems with any addiction (from drugs to alcohol to gambling to over-eating). smartrecovery.org
- Unity Recovery is offering online recovery support groups five times a day. unityrecovery.org
- LifeRing Secular Recovery provides abstinence-based, secular and self-empowered addiction recovery pathways. lifering.org
- Summit County Health Department’s comprehensive guide to Coronavirus includes FAQs, flyers, social media posts, infographics and more)
- Follow Coronavirus updates from the Summit County Health Department
- What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019
- What to do if you are sick with coronavirus 2019
- Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19
- Utah-specific information and guidance: Coronavirus.utah.gov
Typical Reactions of What to Expect
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. People may feel anxiety, worry, or fear related to:
- Your own health status
- The health status of others whom you may have exposed to the disease
- The resentment that your friends and family may feel if they need to go into quarantine as a result of contact with you
- The experience of monitoring yourself, or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of the disease
- Time taken off from work and the potential loss of income and job security
- The challenges of securing things you need, such as groceries and personal care items
- Concern about being able to effectively care for children or others in your care
- Uncertainty or frustration about how long you will need to remain in this situation, and uncertainty about the future
- Loneliness associated with feeling cut off from the world and from loved ones
- Anger if you think you were exposed to the disease because of others’ negligence
- Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to work or engage in regular day-to-day activities
- Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation
- A desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope
- Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, or sleeping too little or too much
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving the event), nightmares, changes in thought and mood, and being easily startled
Ways To Support Yourself During Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation
UNDERSTAND THE RISK
Consider the real risk of harm to yourself and others around you. The public perception of risk during a situation such as an infectious disease outbreak is often inaccurate. Media coverage may
create the impression that people are in immediate danger when really the risk for infection may be very low. Take steps to get the facts:
- Stay up to date on what is happening, while limiting your media exposure. Avoid watching or listening to news reports 24/7 since this tends to increase anxiety and worry. Remember that
children are especially affected by what they hear and see on television.
- Look to credible sources for information on the infectious disease outbreak.
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Speaking out about your needs is particularly important if you are in quarantine, since you may not be in a hospital or other facility where your basic needs are met. Ensure you have what
you need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
- Work with local, state, or national health officials to find out how you can arrange for groceries and toiletries to be delivered to your home as needed.
- Inform health care providers or health authorities of any needed medications and work with them to ensure that you continue to receive those medications.
USE PRACTICAL WAYS TO COPE AND RELAX
- Relax your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
- Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task.
- Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. You can:
- Use the telephone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family, and others.
- Talk “face to face” with friends and loved ones using Skype or FaceTime
- If approved by health authorities and your health care providers, arrange for your friends and loved ones to bring you newspapers, movies, and books.
- Sign up for emergency alerts via text or email to ensure you get updates as soon as they are available.
- Use the Internet, radio, and television to keep up with local, national, and world events but avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
- If you need to connect with someone because of ongoing alcohol or drug problem, consider calling your local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous offices.
WORK WITH YOUR EMPLOYER TO REDUCE FINANCIAL STRESS
If you’re unable to work during this time, you may experience stress related to your job status or financial situation.
- Provide your employer with a clear explanation of why you are away from work.
- Contact the U.S. Department of Labor toll-free at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243) about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows U.S. employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious medical conditions, or to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.
- Contact your utility providers, cable and Internet provider, and other companies from whom you get monthly bills to explain your situation and request alternative bill payment arrangements as needed.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
If you are in a medical facility, you may have access to health care providers who can answer your questions. However, if you are quarantined at home, and you’re worried about physical symptoms you or your loved ones may be experiencing, call your doctor or other health care provider:
Ask your provider whether it would be possible to schedule remote appointments for mental health, substance use, or physical health needs.