Mental Health Support
March 26, 2020
Taking care of mental health needs and maintaining a sense of connectedness with others is extremely important during the COVID-19 health crisis. The County of Los Angeles continues to provide resources and help to support residents as they follow the Safer at Home health order.
The public should be aware of and use the following tips and guidance provided by the county's departments of mental health and public health:
Know the Signs
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can be demonstrated as:
- Fear and worry about personal health and the health of loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
There are some people who may experience stress more acutely during this time. For example:
- Older people and individuals with underlying health conditions who are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19;
- Health care providers, first responders and other individuals who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response;
- People with mental health conditions and substance use disorders; and
- Children and teenagers.
Practice Healthy Habits
Individuals feeling confined and claustrophobic under the Safer at Home order should begin and follow healthy routines in order to manage anxiety and stress. The following is a list of helpful tips:
- Connect with loved ones by reaching out virtually: call, text or video chat family and friends;
- Set a limit on media consumption and stay informed by referring to credible sources for updates on the local situation;
- Take care of your body by getting proper sleep, eating well and exercising regularly at home. Try an exercise app;
- Make time to relax. Deep breathing exercises and meditation or yoga can greatly help. Try a mediation app, start a new hobby, or finish projects that have been put off.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol to numb anxieties.
- Stay focused on your personal strengths and maintain your purpose.
- Join and participate in virtual communities based on your interests and hobbies.