May 6, 2020
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in a year dominated by a pandemic, it is crucial to be kind to ourselves and vigilant and aware of our personal mental well-being. We should also pay attention to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. We are all in this together.
COVID-19 has altered our lives, our routines, and created a new normal in our lives. It is crucial that we all take time to acknowledge that fact in order to maintain balance in our lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes and the uncertainty has been stressful for many people. Anxiety and unease have been prevalent and with the quick pace of newly implemented protocols and changing environments, uncertainty has followed. As social distancing measures were put in place, many suffered from loneliness and were inundated with an information overload from social media, news, and internet sites.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all suffering from various levels of anxiety, sadness, fear, and loneliness. For those who already struggled with mental health issues, those feelings are potentially more acute and the world may have felt especially difficult and heavy.
Please know that this is normal, and you are not alone. During this pandemic, we want to make sure that you are not just looking out for your physical health, but your mental health as well. Know that there are ways that you can help manage your stress and be attentive to your mental health. We can all weather this storm together.
Below are some self-care tips:
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Perhaps the most important thing to taking care of you and your mental health is making sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Stick with your normal routines. Get up when you normally would get ready for the day, even if you are staying at home, and get to bed on time.
- Take breaks. Step away from your electronic devices throughout the day. Constantly hearing about the pandemic and frequently visiting social media platforms can be upsetting.
- Stay in touch with others. Just because you are physically social distancing, does not mean you have to mentally or emotionally distance yourself. Stay in touch with friends and family and talk to people you trust about your concerns.
- Make sure you are getting exercise. Even if it is just going for walks, make sure you are getting up and moving around throughout the day.
Please know that if you need help with emotional support, there are resources available to you.
- SafeUT – Download the free SafeUT app to message a crisis counselor. Available 24/7.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Available 24/7.
- Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741. Available 24/7.
- Intermountain Health Care, free emotional health relief hotline – 833-442-2211. Available 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
- University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) warm line – 801-587-1055. Available 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
- University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) crisis line – 801-587-3000. Available 24/7.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office is proud to partner with organizations dedicated to looking out for the mental health of Utahns including Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nami Utah, Jason Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Utah Chapter, SafeUT Commission, Life’s Worth Living Foundation, University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), Veterans Crisis Line.
For more information on mental health and tips to look out for you and others during this time, check out these resources:
Mayo Clinic – COVID-19 and Your Mental Health
University of Utah Health – Coping with Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic
Utah Department of Human Services – Your Mental Health and COVID-19
Intermountain Health Care – Emotional Health Relief Hotline