This is a stressful time for many, including the adolescents in our lives. Feeling anxiety or depression is a common reaction in times of uncertainty, and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly qualifies as such a time. This is something new that we are all facing together. Please use and share the resources below with parents, educators, and administrators to support yourself, adolescents who you work with or encounter, and those around you who might be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed:
- Mississippi recently launched Mental Health Mississippi, a website created to help you easily access mental health services for children and adults in Mississippi. You can search mentalhealthms.com for services and resources in your local area. Visit the site to also find COVID-19 resources such as Mobile Crisis Response Teams, Crisis Lifelines, and the DMH Helpline, all of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.
- You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “Home” to 741741 to text with a Crisis Text Line counselor. These helplines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all ages.
- The uncertainty of this pandemic can lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety or depression in children and adults. Mental Health First Aid has provided some guidance in the articles linked below:
- How to Support a Loved One Who is Going Through a Tough Time During COVID-19
- How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression During COVID-19
- It can be tough for parents to have the right answers to questions about an illness like COVID-19. In this video, a curious 9-year-old asks our experts common kid questions about the virus. They cover topics from traveling to taking care of family and playing with friends. Click here to watch a video answering kids’ questions about the coronavirus.
- It can be difficult to comfort and reassure children regarding COVID-19. Mind Heart developed a COVID Coloring Book that can help ease the minds of children. It is available in several languages as well.
- Youth.gov has released Resources to Support Youth and Families During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak
Finally, isolation from friends and family, job loss and death are challenges we’re all facing during these days of COVID-19. You are not alone. COVID-19 is affecting families across the world. We encourage you to stay connected with your loved ones while practicing physical distancing. It’s important that you support one other during this difficult time, especially if your loved one may be facing a mental health concern. If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.
Remember that you are not alone. If the Mississippi Department of Mental Health can help support you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-210-8513. Continue to practice social distancing and be safe.