COVID-19 and managing mental health
News of a widespread public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Many students across the nation are dealing with sudden changes to their regular schedules and some are faced with having to quickly leave their campuses without contingency plans yet in place. These developments can be stressful. At the same time, families and school leaders are working to provide the necessary support to their loved ones and students.
It’s completely expected and appropriate to experience fear during situations like these. It’s also important to know how to manage overwhelming anxiety and keep perspective as the situation unfolds. Here are some resources and tips that may be helpful:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19 for children and caregivers, as well as guidance for higher education administrators.
- The Child Mind Institute has published a resource on how to talk to young people about COVID-19.
- The Hope Center has outlined resources for supporting college students during this crisis.
- The American College Health Association has created a guide to help college health staff and campus administrators address COVID-19 on campus.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has information on travel, media resources, and other research on COVID-19.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic provides some science-based strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
- Safety on campus during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We know this situation is challenging. In addition to utilizing these resources, JED’s self-care experts recommend getting adequate sleep, eating well, and engaging in exercise, among other tips for practicing good self-care.
People who already are managing existing mental health conditions should prioritize self-care during difficult times and should contact their clinicians if they have questions or concerns. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Text “START” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
We’re all in this together and we hope this information can help cultivate perspective and curb anxiety.
The JED Team