Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Feelings of anxiety are not uncommon during uncertain times, such as those we are going through with the coronavirus (COVID-19). For people with existing mental health conditions, this can be a particularly difficult time. Staying socially connected, while physically distant, can help. Reach out to friends and family by phone or social media to check in – for yourself and them. Getting outdoors, or keeping up some form of physical activity, may also help. Check with the guidance in your local community, but in most places individuals may go outside for exercise as long as they maintain a six foot distance from others.
Sometimes, we need more than that. Knowing when to seek help is also important, as well as keeping up with ongoing care. Below are some mental health resources that you can call upon in times of need, including free/low cost and virtual or phone support options.
In addition, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides mental health services – along with other support services, as well as assistance with medication and health care – for people living with HIV. Click here for more about the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.
Crisis Text Line
Text the word "HOME" to 741-741 and you'll be connected to a trained counselor who will help guide you to a calmer state of mind, or help you find the resources you need. The service is free and available 24/7. Counselors are also available via Facebook Messenger.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Call the NAMI HelpLine at (800) 950-6264 Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm EST for mental health resources, including those specific to mental health crises from COVID-19. Counselors are available in English and Spanish. NAMI has also developed a resource and information guide for dealing with COVID-19 specific stress and challenges.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Call The Disaster Distress Helpline at (800) 985-5990 or text “TALKWITHUS” to 66-746. This toll-free, multilingual national hotline is available 24/7, 365-days-a-year and provides crisis counseling related to natural and human-caused disasters. Click here for SAMHSA’s Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call (800) 273-8255 if you or someone you love is in danger. Free and confidential support is available 24/7/365 in English and Spanish. Services are available for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. They also run Lifeline Chat, which connects individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat.
Start Your Recovery
This organization provides resources and information for any stage of the substance misuse recovery journey. Find local treatment options - including rehab centers, counseling and support groups - for yourself or a loved one.
The Jed Foundation
Call (800) 273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741 to connect to the Crisis Text Line. This organization focuses on preventing suicide and supporting emotional health for teens and young adults. Visit the Foundation's Love is Louder Action Center for mental health tips, tools, and resources.