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Finding Support During COVID-19

Published in Addiction Services, Mental Health, For the Health of It, Suicide Prevention Author: Lisa Bershok, CentraCare Suicide Prevention Program Manager

It’s both shocking and humbling to think it’s been almost one year already.

One thing that became very clear at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was that separation from friends and family and isolation caused by that was going to be a major problem.

It’s been almost 12 months. Many classes shifted to online formats. People have gotten used to Zoom calls. And how to stream church and school events on YouTube.

Thankfully, vaccines have been developed and are now being distributed to help offer protection from this virus. But the problems caused by separation and isolation — including increased calls to crisis lines, increases in addiction, anxiety and stress — are still with us today.

So it’s still important to know where to find support and resources if you or a loved one need help. It is OK to seek help.

  • If you worry someone you care about may be having thoughts of suicide, ask them openly and directly if they are having thoughts of suicide. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) to learn about resources available to you and your loved one. Review more suicide prevention resources
  • Be familiar with crisis and warm lines that work to help address loneliness, anxiety, depression and other feelings that can bring on a mental crisis. You do not need to be in crisis to call the warm line – anyone can seek their support. Review social isolation resources from Mental Health Minnesota
  • It can be intimidating to find a therapist, or even difficult to know where to start. If you have one, use your employee assistance program. You can contact a health care provider, your health insurance company, or check out to find mental health and substance use disorder resources in Minnesota.
  • A little recognition can go a long ways. Make a special effort to connect with anyone in your workplace or community who may be particularly vulnerable. Talking about hardships can be uncomfortable, but just acknowledging that someone is struggling truly does help.
  • Maintain your well-being by connecting to your support system in any way that you can. Some supports have shifted to virtual formats. It is important to find the resources that work for you. But also know that this is temporary. Some supports, even if they are imperfect, are better than no supports.