Resources to Help Cope with Stress and Anxiety
due to Covid-19 and other stressors
As we each do our part to safeguard the physical health of our families, friends, coworkers, community, and selves, we must also do the same for our mental health. To help, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) has gathered some tools and resources to help cope with the stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. Please browse through and share the resources on this page, which include topics from physical distancing and coping strategies to resources for parents and health providers. The resources below have been collected to assist those in need in finding potential emotional support tools. It is not intended to replace the advice of medical/mental health professionals.
Times are difficult for all of us. For some, a call to the SC HOPES or Tu Apoyo support line, or a link to a support group or webinar are helpful. But some of us need MORE. If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available 24/7/365 from these resources:
- DMH SC Mobile Crisis Number (CCRI Number): 833-364-2274
- SCDMH Deaf Services Hotline: VP 803-339-3339, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Veterans can call the Lifeline and then Press 1.
- Español: Call 1-888-628-9454
- Crisis Text Line with SC Code: Text HOPE4SC to 741741
- The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386, or text START to 678678
Many see a "light at the end of the tunnel" following these many months. But for just as many, even as things return somewhat to "normal", we just don't feel it. Remember, you're not alone.
Here's an interesting read -
"In psychology, we think about mental health on a spectrum from depression to flourishing. Flourishing is the peak of well-being: You have a strong sense of meaning, mastery and mattering to others. Depression is the valley of ill-being: You feel despondent, drained and worthless. Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity."
Read more at the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html
New free service for SC residents: anonymously take a Self-Check Questionnaire and connect with a counselor who can offer guidance, support, and resources to help connect you with mental health and addiction services. Go to https://hope.connectsyou.org to get started!
Federation of Families - SC Family TeleSupport Network Group Call - Every Thursday, 6:30-7:30 pm
NAMI Mid Carolina offers virtual support group meetings. For information go to
https://namimid-carolina.org/meetings-support-groups/ or go to NAMIMidCarolina.org
Mental Health and COVID 19, AFSP Resource Guide
Mental Health and COVID-19 – Information and Resources
Click here for an extensive guide from Mental Health America of the US that provides a wealth of resources, from general information about physical distancing and coping strategies to resources for parents and mental health providers. This page has something to help each of us!
Download MHA's free 2020 Back to School Toolkit
Managing Stress and Anxiety
- https://gregsmithmd.blog/ - Check out the mental health blog by Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center's Medical Director Greg Smith, MD, to see helpful and insightful articles, as featured in the Aiken Standard.
- Click the link for tips on how to establish a nighttime routine and get a good night’s sleep: Five ways to wind down and relax before bed, Mental Health First Aid - USA
- Feeling stressed or anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic? This flyer provides information and tips for coping during a pandemic as well as resources for additional assistance. - SAMHSA
- Tips for Managing Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic The wallet card provides stress reduction tips and techniques as well as lists sources for additional assistance. – SAMHSA
- Stay hopeful during Covid-19 – this article from Mental Health First Aid gives important tips on how to be hopeful during a pandemic.
- 2020’s Word of the Year: “Resilience” – and Five Tips to Help You – article from Mental Health First Aid.
- “Living with an anxiety disorder for a large part of my life, I have coped by structuring my time in a certain way to minimize my anxiety…This is what works for me, however, it comes with its own set of pros and cons.” “My Routine Is Both a Blessing and the Bane of My Existence,” by Michael Joslin, NAMI Mid-Carolina
- Building Resilience during a Difficult Year, NAMI
- Action for Happiness: Coping Calendar: Keep calm. Stay wise. Be kind. As we face the global pandemic together, this calendar provides 30 suggested actions to help cope during these difficult times.
- Action for Happiness: Calendar for Families
- Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak - SAMHSA
- Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress
- PBS NewsHour: Mental health expert answers your questions on coping during COVID-19
- Taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty, Dr. Doreen Marshall, AFSP Vice President of Programs
- How to prevent loneliness in a time of social distancing, Kasley Killam, Scientific America
- CDC tips for managing anxiety & stress
- OAMHC officials offer stress reduction tips amid coronavirus pandemic,
Published in the Times and Democrat, author
- How to #BeTheDifference for People with Mental Health Concerns During COVID-19, Mental Health First Aid USA
- Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, SAMHSA
- Recorded on 5/15/2020, Twin City News's TCN Around Town podcast -Lexington County Community Mental Health Center's own Gariane Gunter, MD, talks about how to deal with the many feelings and fears that have come with the COVID-19 outbreak and the changes it has brought to our day-to-day way of life. Check it out!
Helping Children Cope
PARENTS & CAREGIVERS: Resources for Preparing for School
- Dr. Greg Smith article, Mind Matters: Suffer the little children, March 21, 2021: https://www.postandcourier.com/aikenstandard/lifestyle/mind-matters-suffer-the-little-children/article_24dcdb8e-89f0-11eb-bfc8-43861b5a6004.html?fbclid=IwAR3x7HyKUxfqrFBWQlzyzQDUr8FU8PZakrjuFFEEMWRbaWlXeKfTf8hIZAY
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a page of resources for parents and caregivers to help kids prepare to return to school, whether it's in-person, virtual, or both, as well as how to deal with the associated stress.
- Mayo Clinic's safety tips for returning to school
- Download MHA's free 2020 Back to School Toolkit
- Our children are facing stressors just like we are during these difficult days. SCDMH's Chris Haines talked to the Greenville Journal about how to help kids cope. Click to read: Pandemic isolation may harm children’s mental health: How can parents and guardians help? 10-1-20
- Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children
- Helping Children Cope During and After a Disaster, A Resource for Parents and Caregivers (CDC)
- Looking for guidance to talk to kids about COVID-19? The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control has put together an activity book for kids to help them understand.
- Enfrentando múltiples crisis, los latinos recurren a la cultura y a la comunidad. - SAMHSA
- ¿Estás trabajando para ayudar a las personas afectadas por la pandemia de COVID-19?(Are You Working to Help People Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic?)
- Consejos para manejar el estrés durante la pandemia de COVID-19 – Tarjeta de bolsillo(Tips for Managing Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic Wallet Card)
- ¿Te sientes estresado o ansioso por la pandemia de COVID-19?(Feeling Stressed or Anxious About the COVID-19 Pandemic?)
- Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) - SCDHEC
- Cómo cuidar de su salud conductual: CONSEJOS PARA LIDIAR CON MEDIDAS DE PRECAUCIÓN DURANTE UN BROTE DE UNA ENFERMEDAD CONTAGIOSA: DISTANCIAMIENTO SOCIAL, CUARENTENA Y AISLAMIENTO - SAMHSA
- Cómo hablar con los niños: CONSEJOS PARA LOS CUIDADORES, PADRES Y MAESTROS DURANTE UN BROTE DE UNA ENFERMEDAD CONTAGIOSA
- COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) INFORMACION Y RECURSOS - NAMI HelpLine de lunes a viernes entre las 10:00 a.m. y las 6:00 p.m. ET (800) 950-6264 2 Información general sobre COVID-19 Continuamos aprendiendo sobre los efectos del virus COVID-19 y cómo afecta a las personas. www.nami.org
Working from Home
- Working Remotely During COVID-19: Your Mental Health & Well-Being - APA Foundation, Center for Workplace Mental Health
Resources for Clinicians
- Are you working to help people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? – this flyer from SAMHSA has principles of Psychological First Aid when working with survivors.
- The Strain of Caregiving: How Caregiver Involvement Reduces Distress and Conflict, MHA
- Working from Home with ADHD, MHA
- Watch the First Lowcountry Mental Health Conference Speaker Spotlight held October, 15, 2020, featuring psychotherapist, professor, and New York Times bestselling author Thomas Moore, Ph.D. Click here to watch his presentation, "The Soul of Psychotherapy". There will be three more presentations in this series, the next of which will be in January - to learn more and register, visit https://www.lowcountrymhconference.com/spotlight/!
- From SC Public Radio, 8/27: Scott Morgan takes a look at mental health among healthcare workers during COVID-19. https://www.southcarolinapublicradio.org/post/its-not-about-superheroes-very-human-toll-covid-takes-frontline-healthcare-workers
- Managing mental health during COVID-19, AMA
- Handout - Centering Skills, Dovetail Learning
- Handout - Protective Patterns, Dovetail Learning
- Infographic - Combat Stress with Self-Care, Mindwise Innovations/SCYSPI
Learning self-care and coping techniques can help manage stress and pressure to keep you feeling happy and healthy.
- Infographic - Self-Care Strategies for Resilience, AFSP
Distance Learning Opportunities
Each month, ETR provides compilations of available Distance Learning Offerings. Be sure to run the power points listed below as a slide show. When you click on the title of the offering it will take you directly to the site. These are excellent ways to obtain continuing education credit and you can take them as your time permits.
Lexington Richland 5 Schools has added a new video to its School Re-entry series, focused on social and emotional health, with information from District Behavior Specialist Lucy Bailey and SCDMH's own Jennifer Butler.
Click to watch SCDMH's Greg Smith, MD, from the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center, talk about COVID-19 and Mental Health on the Aiken Chamber of Commerce's Ask the Experts Series, from August 5.