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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Human Trafficking Summit

Durango Juvenile Court in Phoenix will be hosting a two-day Human Trafficking Summit on May 4-5, 2017.  Guest speaker Suamhirs Piraino-Gunman will share his experience as a survivor of human trafficking.  Mr. Piraino-Gunman travels the country advocating for youth and teaching others how to develop a relationship of trust with traumatized children.  This will be an interactive two-day commitment.  The first day includes an overview of human trafficking and the principles of trauma informed care, while the second will focus on Maricopa County’s current response and developing an action plan moving forward.   This event is free to participants and space will be limited.  Please RSVP by April 21 to Ashley Ramirez at ramireza008@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov.

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2nd Annual CARE Community Health Fair

Touchstone Health Services Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and CARE (Community Alliance for Resources and Education) are hosting the 2nd Annual CARE Community Health Fair on May 20, 2017 at the American Sports Center Avondale.

Focused on health and wellness for teens and families, this event is open to the community and will feature a collection of agencies to enlighten Arizona families on services available.  Agencies and organizations can participate for free.  For more information, please contact: Ruben Hernandez at Reyes.Espinoza-Hernandez@touchstonebh.org or at 602.618.7649.

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