As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the U.S. and in Wisconsin, so does the level of emotional distress and anxiety. People are concerned that they or a loved one could become ill. At the same time, many are facing financial uncertainty as jobs are lost or hours reduced in an effort to prevent the spread. It is normal to feel anxious, confused, and overwhelmed during this time.
The Door County Department of Health and Human Services suggests you that people feeling emotional distress related to COVID-19 can take actions to support themselves and others:
- Limit exposure to media consumption, including local and national news and social media.
- Stay active. Regular exercise and time spent in nature are great stress-relievers.
- Make healthy choices. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol.
- Maintain connections. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation. Connect with friends and family by phone, video chat, or letters.
- Get accurate health information from reputable sources. For health information about COVID-19, contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov, or your local healthcare provider.
- Consider mental health counseling. Many providers are continuing to provide counseling services during this period of partial shutdown. (Some are doing so via phone or video chat platforms.) To request behavioral health support from the Door County Department of Health and Human Services, call 920-746-7155 during business hours.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing distress or having thoughts of suicide, please call the Door County Suicide/Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 920-746-2588 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Other Helpful Resources
- Wisconsin DHS’s COVID 19: Resilient Together, https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/resilient.htm, provides coping tips and resources.
- CDC’s “Manage Anxiety and Stress” page provides what stress can look like and tips to manage that stress.
- Mental Health America has compiled a range of resources and information on their “Mental Health and COVID-19” page.
- SAMHSA’s “Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks” page outlines the signs of stress and steps you can take to alleviate stress.
- SAMHSA’s “Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks” page provides parents and caregivers with strategies for helping children manage their stress related to the pandemic.