CMHA Offers Tips to Support Mental Health Amid Concerns of COVID-19 Pandemic
(Fort McMurray, March 13, 2020) – Amid public concerns of the developing COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) experts are reminding individuals with exacerbated anxiety and depression symptoms of how to manage their mental wellness at this time of uncertainty.
CMHA Wood Buffalo Region’s Executive Director, Amanda Holloway, offers these five basic tips to help individuals experiencing heightened mental health concerns to remain calm and balanced as this public health situation unfolds.
- Considering the level of attention and seriousness being paid to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s normal to feel anxious. Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Self-care is critically important at this time, as worries can be made worse if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Lean on social supports, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and engage in enjoyable activities. Do the things you would typically do to support your health and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them.
- Seek information from reliable news sources only.Limit checking in on the latest news to short, defined periods, and refrain from setting related push notifications on your device. Appropriate information consumption may be calming and can lessen the sense of danger.
- Take the recommended precautions as outlined by Health Canada and other credible health agencies. Remain focused on the factors within your control, such as washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel,
- If you’re noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (in association with COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, reach out for formal mental health supports from a recognized agency, such as CMHA.
CMHA Wood Buffalo Region provides programs and services to support your mental wellness. If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health distress during this time, please call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
For up to date information on the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Links and resources to support your mental health during this time of uncertainty.
- How to stay emotionally healthy during the coronavirus outbreak: |https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/hope-resilience/202003/how-stay-emotionally-healthy-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
- Here is a good article that summarizes some of the recent studies on the subject from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/hope-resilience/202003/the-new-mental-health-research-coronavirus
- Science Alert on how to keep the coronavirus anxiety at bay: https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-how-to-keep-the-coronavirus-anxiety-at-bay
- Coronavirus and mental health – statement from the president and CEO of Mental Health America: https://www.mhanational.org/coronavirus-and-mental-health-statement-paul-gionfriddo-president-and-ceo-mental-health-america
- How to reduce coronavirus anxiety in the workplace: https://www.myworkplacehealth.com/how-to-reduce-coronavirus-anxiety-in-the-workplace/
- What to do, how to help the broader community: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/coronavirus-prevention-what-to-do-how-to-help
- CMHA: Six tips to respond to employee anxiety about COVID-19: https://cmha.ca/news/6-tips-to-respond-to-employee-anxiety-about-covid-19
The mental health of the community remains a top priority and we encourage you to visit www.woodbuffalo.cmha.ca for updates to program changes and to access additional information, strategies and resources. If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health distress during this time, please call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.