I know that I am not alone in struggling with anxiety and depression during the recent deluge of bad news relating to the coronavirus pandemic (see here and here for a couple of recent blogposts I have written). As a librarian, I wanted to share with you some information resources that you might also find helpful as you try to cope with this unprecedented public health crisis as it unfolds.
Today’s episode of Live Today from the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva featured a detailed question and answer session with mental health expert Dr. Aiysha Malik. I very strongly recommend you watch the entire video, even if you are not depressed or anxious; Aiysha is a very knowledgeable and calming speaker on the topic, and answers many mental-health-related questions submitted by viewers, some of which you may also have.
Other useful information resources I have found are:
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 (U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention)
- Controlling Coronavirus Anxiety from Psychology Today
- Coronavirus Anxiety: 4 Ways to Cope with Fear from PsychCentral
- Coronavirus Anxiety – Helpful Expert Tips and Resources compiled by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (includes advice and links to recent news articles)
- Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak from Beyond Blue
- Coronavirus anxiety is real. Here are mental health tips to help from the Tampa Bay Times
- How to keep coronavirus fears from affecting your mental health from CNN
- Tips for managing anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic from The Globe and Mail
- Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health by the BBC
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic from Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- Some Tips on How to Stay Sane in a World That Isn’t from The New York Times
- That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief from the Harvard Business Review
- Coronavirus and Your Well-being from Mind (U.K.)
- 8 Coping Strategies From a Psychiatrist Who’s Also Anxious and Afraid from SELF
- Rethinking Our Self-Care During the Pandemic, from Mindful
- Coping with Fatigue, Fear, and Panic During a Crisis, from the Harvard Business Review
- 17 Totally Normal Things to Feel Right Now, According to Therapists from SELF
- Ten Ways to Stay Well During the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Mindwell – New!
UPDATE March 15th, 2020: Another potentially useful document is from the World Health Organization, titled Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak, which has 31 recommendations, broken down by category:
- General population
- Healthcare workers
- Healthcare team leaders and managers
- Care providers for children
- Older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions
- People in isolation
UPDATE March 22nd, 2020: Librarianship.ca (a news website for librarians) has compiled an outstanding list of Canadian resources: COVID-19: Mental Health Resources, including a breakdown of local resources by province and territory.
UPDATE April 7th, 2020: Here’s a very good three-minute YouTube video by
Inspired Living Medical, that covers seven tips for effective mental health self-care during the coronavirus pandemic:
I will continue to add new resources to this list as I encounter them—and trust me, I am quite regularly scouring the coronavirus news feeds these days!
I leave you with an updated, more general list of mental health resources I had compiled back in 2018 when I had written an editorial about BetterHelp.com:
If you are currently experiencing a mental health or addictions related crisis:
- If you are suicidal, please read this first.
- Contact your doctor
- Go to the nearest hospital
- Find a local crisis line: check the Emergency listings in your phone book, or look here: Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention directory or resources (Canada) or this list of suicide crisis lines from Wikipedia (international)
- Find a mobile crisis team (check the Emergency listings in your phone book)
- Call 911 (or your local equivalent emergency number)
If you are not in crisis, but still need help, here are some other good places to get started:
- Mental Health Care in Canada: Where to Find Help (CTV News, Canada)
- General Resources (Mental Health First Aid Canada, by the Mental Health Commission of Canada)
- MentalHealth.gov (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, United States)
- Find Support (National Alliance on Mental Illness, United States)
- Mental Health and Psychology Sources Online (PsychCentral)
- Global Mental Health Resources (by CheckPoint, an Australia-based charity that connects mental health resources to the gamer/tech community)
- 9 Ways to Get Free or Cheap Therapy When You Don’t Have Health Insurance (this list by The Penny Hoarder is intended for Americans who lack health insurance)
When you absolutely need someone to talk to online, one of the best places to try is The KindVoice subReddit and Discord channel, both of which are staffed by volunteers:
“Sometimes we need to hear a human voice on the other end of the line telling us that everything’s going to be ok. This subreddit is for people that aren’t in a suicidal crisis, but feel depressed, alone, or want someone to talk to.”
A similar service is called The Haven, another Discord channel for people who need someone to talk to. Both Kind Voice and The Haven are free, volunteer-run services.