Resources to Help Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Other Mental Health Concerns During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The unexpected challenges brought on by a global pandemic cause not only fear of contracting the Coronavirus, but also stress and anxiety. Increased caretaking responsibilities as schools closed, the economic impact of a reduced workforce, the confinement of social-distancing, and the uncertainty of not knowing when life will return to normal, create the perfect storm for mental health challenges. During Mental Health Awareness Month, AHCCCS reminds members that mental health resources are available and mental health services covered.

Stress and anxiety can be different for different people and can include difficulty sleeping or concentrating, changes in eating patterns, or increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares ways to deal with stress and anxiety so members can take care of themselves and loved ones during the pandemic.

Six Ways to Cope With Stress & Help Others Who Are

  1. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  2. Take care of your body.
    1. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
    2. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
    3. Exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
    4. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  3. Make time to unwind. Try to do activities you enjoy.
  4. Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you feel.
  5. Get the health care you need. Contact your health care provider to discuss consulting options during the pandemic such as telehealth.
  6. Check on your neighbors who live alone; those living in isolation are at greater risk for depression and suicidal thoughts. 

Continuing mental health treatment during this time is extremely important, as symptoms can increase during a crisis. Virtual group or individual therapy and phone consultations are some of the ways health care providers are serving those in need. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety or depression, get help. 

For more resources on mental health services for AHCCCS members, see the Office of Individual and Family Affairs web page.

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