The COVID-19 pandemic could be a source of stress, fear, or anxiety for many Arkansans. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a good time to remind Arkansans of the resources available to help during this time.
If you currently visit a provider for mental health services, these services can now be accessed by telephone or tele-video.
Arkansas’s Community Mental Health Centers have also temporarily changed their services to utilize tele-video or telephone technology whenever possible.
The Arkansas Lifeline Call Center can direct you to the center closest to you.
The Arkansas Lifeline Call Center (1-800-273-8255) is available 24/7. This call center housed within the Arkansas Department of Health answers calls from Arkansans to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call takers can route Arkansans to local resources.
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming in both adults and children.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
The CDC recommends the following to cope with stress:
• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
• Eat healthy meals and exercise regularly.
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
While we may all be social distancing, it’s important to still connect with others. Technology allows us to connect in new ways. As we collectively work to get our state back to normal, don’t underestimate the importance of reaching out to family and friends.
Taking care of yourself can help you cope with stress and in turn, help others. Helping others is what will make communities stronger on the other side of this crisis.