The world is full of news about COVD-19. I have been wary to weigh in on a healthcare topic outside mental illness and concerned about taking up information bandwidth in a time that people are absorbing information from every source they can.

However, the mental health ramifications of COVD-19 are beginning to hit and it’s important to address those head on.

In times of difficulty, it can be essential to get guidance from voices of the past that have undergone worse tragedies and terrors.  Dr. Victor Frankl, the Holocaust Survivor, Psychatrist, and author wrote: “Forces beyond your control can take away everything  you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

There are points and steps that you can take to improve your response to this situation and the mental health challenges that come with it.

The first point is to seek out good information about COVD-19. Anxiety, stress, and depression feed on misinformation.  Make sure you’re going directly to good sources. Here are three that we recommend:

Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center – Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19. This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.

World Health Organization’s Coronavirus Mythbusters – While it is important to know where to get good information about the condition, it is also important to know where to go to figure out what isn’t accurate. This website is a great resource for that.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services provides up-to-date information about Coronavirus on its website.

The second point is to work on your mental health regimen. Public health measures can be socially isolating which is the exact opposite of what is recommended for maintaining your mental health. In the case where social isolation may be higher than usual, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are working on your mental health.

  • Keep up your regular mental health care, including therapy appointments and prescribed medications.
  • Try to keep a daily routine, even if it is different than usual.
    Keep up regular exercise.
  • Be careful about how much media content you consume. It’s important to stay informed, but the 24 hour news channels and social media can be overwhelming.
  • Keep your mind busy. If you end up spending more time at home, try to work in new books to read or maybe an online course.
  • Check in with friends and family members on the phone.

We will get through this together.

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