CMHA WOOD BUFFALO RECOVERY COLLEGE ALTERS SERVICES TO OFFER MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC
(Fort McMurray, March 26, 2020) – With so much uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it can take a toll on us not only physically but mentally. With the closure of services, schools and workplaces and the rising number of cases of the virus in our province, it can be hard to not become overwhelmed with anxiety and stress.
CMHA Wood Buffalo is offering online Recovery College classes: CMHA Community Connection, with peer supports available.
AM classes – sign in through Zoom here: https://bit.ly/CMHA10amCCInvite
PM classes – sign in through Zoom here: https://bit.ly/CMHA4pmCCInvite
CMHA Community Connection Classes
- Dealing with Uncontrollable Circumstances: Mon. March 30th at 10am–12pm / 4pm – 6pm
During these challenging times, it is not uncommon for us to feel like we are not in control, or that our energy is being wasted on things that really aren’t serving us. Connect with CMHA and other community members as we discuss effective ways we can deal with the uncontrollable circumstances and explore what’s in our power to control and what actions we can take to stay in control.
- Resilience: Wednesday, April 1st at 10am-12pm / 4pm-6pm
Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviours, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in ANYONE. In this class we will start to unpack our personal resources for resilience and devise a personal resilience plan to take us through these challenging times.
- Accepting the Unwanted Guest: Monday, April 6th at 10am-12pm / 4-6pm
Coping with negative emotions is often accomplished by means of control-based strategies, like suppression. Control-based strategies aim to decrease the frequency and intensity of unwanted emotions but unfortunately, that doesn’t always work. Join us in this class as we explore acceptance-based coping strategies with the aim to cultivate a healthier relationships with our emotions.
- Dealing with the Inner Critic: Wednesday, April 8th at 10am-12pm / 4-6pm
Find yourself dealing with nagging thoughts that are telling you, you are not good enough? Most of us are familiar with these nagging thoughts, however, the long-term effects of listening to this inner critic can be very damaging to our mental health. In this class we will look at how we overcome our inner critic and incorporate positive self-talk into our daily lives.
- Window of Tolerance: Tuesday, April 14th at 10am-12pm / 4-6pm
Understanding our Window of Tolerance allows us to function, remain calm and composed in the face of stress. During challenging times, our optimal functioning state can be compromised, and we find ourselves reverting back to survival mode – fight, flight, or freeze. This leads to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. In this class, we will start to understand our own window of tolerance; how we can expand our window, recognize the signs that our tolerance levels are narrowing, and how to return to our optimal state of functioning.
- Self-love (compassion): Wednesday, April 15th at 10am-12pm / 4-6pm
Self-love is important for so many reasons. It has a profound impact on how we see ourselves and how we treat ourselves. During times of uncertainty or even a change in routine we often turn to negative self-talk. In this class we will take the time to connect with ourselves and learn ways we can maintain our self-love through challenging times.
- Finding Motivation: Monday, April 20th at 10am-12pm / 4-6pm
Are you having a hard time motivating yourself? You are not alone! During such difficult times, digging deep for inspiration is so important. It is essential that we remain self-motivated and nurture ourselves during this time. Finding our passion and purpose is the fuel we need in order to keep going during these times. In this class, we are going to discuss the importance of motivating ourselves while developing individual plans that can support us through these times.
Reducing anxiety related to COVID-19
Stay Focused on What you Can Control
While this situation may seem overwhelming there are things you can do to feel empowered. Frequently washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, having an isolation plan and making sure you are following the guidelines recommended by Alberta Health Services are all ways you can feel in control during this difficult time.
Recognize that it is Normal to Feel Anxiety
During times of crisis it is normal to feel increased anxiety and it is important to acknowledge those feelings are valid. For those already prone to mental health issues, a stressful situation like a pandemic can increase anxiety, depression and hopelessness. Identify supportive people and mental health services in your community you can reach out to if these feelings begin to overcome your life.
Limit your Consumption of News and Social Media
Take time throughout the day to avoid checking your newsfeed, especially before bedtime. Allow yourself time to focus on activities you enjoy and bring positivity to your life. Reading, listening to music or doing some meditation are all great ways to destress when you are unable to attend regular activities in the community. This may even be a great opportunity to learn a new hobby!
Remain Connected and Listen to your Body
Exercise regularly, get outside, eat well, get enough rest and take care of your mental health by focusing on supportive relationships. Even if you can’t go out and meet with friends and family in person, a quick phone call or video chat can help you feel less alone.
Have Open Conversations with Your Family
Have age-appropriate conversations with your children and answer any questions they may have in language they understand. Reassure them they are safe and that it is okay to feel anxious or scared. Keep the lines of communication open with loved ones and watch for signs of mental distress.
About CMHA Recovery College Wood Buffalo
Recovery Colleges bring together the expertise of people with lived experience of mental health and substance use problems, along with the expertise of professionals to collaboratively co-develop and co-deliver courses that are relevant and highly valued by the community.