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Mental Health During COVID-19

Practical steps for responding effectively to the pandemic:

F = Focus on what’s in your control
A = Acknowledge your thoughts & feelings
C = Connect with your body
E = Expand & engage your senses

C = Connect with others
O = Open up
V = View yourself and others with compassion
I = Identify resources
D = Do what matters


Uncertainty underlies many difficult thoughts and feelings and COVID-19 has created significant uncertainty in our studies, finances, health, and social wellbeing. These are real disruptions and challenges that can make us feel powerless.

Fear & Anxiety are Inevitable

It won't come as a surprise that the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 crisis results in rising fear and anxiety. And while it’s completely natural for us to get lost in such worries, it’s not useful or helpful. Focusing on all of the uncertainty only make us feel more powerless!

What is in Your Control

The alternative to uncontrollable worry is to focus on what actually is in your control. We do have control over what we do right here and now. This might be as basic as reaching out to loved ones, exercising, starting a gratitude journal, etc. It can also mean learning how to simply "drop anchor" in the midst of the emotional storm.

Identifying Resources

Identify resources for help, assistance, support, and advice. This includes friends, family, neighbors, health professionals, emergency services. And make sure you know the emergency helpline phone numbers, including psychological help if required. Also reach out to your social networks. And if you are able to offer support to others, let them know; you can be a resource for other people, just as they can for you. One very important aspect of this process involves finding a reliable and trustworthy source of information for updates on the crisis and guidelines for responding to it. The World Health Organization website is the leading source of such information:

  • · Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at ECSU 860-456-0181
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Toll free hotline dedicated to preventing suicide
  • Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741) -For support through text messaging. Text STEVE to 741741 for a young person of color specialist.
  • Trevor Project Supporting LGBTQ youth through text, call, and community. (Text START to 678678 or call 1-866-488-7386)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 Supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence

Laura Sanford, LPC, NCC & Christi Craig, LCSW with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Eastern Connecticut State University
Adopted From:
Russ Harris,MD
Uconn Health And Wellness