Blog Post

Mental Health and COVID-19

This post contains grown-up content about mental health. It also contains some strategies for modeling mental health and self-care with young ones.

I am taking a quick break from distance learning today to check in with everyone. How are you? Seriously, how are you?

I received an email today from ADAMH, the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Board of Franklin County. They are a generous funder and long time partner of Art Possible Ohio. Their email gave me pause because the message was so important and it has the potential to be lost in the deluge of information about COVID-19. There has been a surge in deaths from overdose in Franklin County – Art Possible Ohio’s home county. I am sure similar statistics are playing out across the state.

Over the past seven days there has been an average of 12 overdose deaths daily. There is an increasing concern about methamphetamine being laced with fentanyl. Columbus Public Health has asked that community partners share a consistent message with the community.

graphic with a colorful background and white overlay that reads "prevent overdose deaths. Check in on Loved Ones during COVID-19. If you are struggling with substance use, treatment and help are available."

These are uncertain and stressful times for everyone. Isolation and physical distancing from our friends and family, has resulted in many drinking more alcohol and experimenting with drugs to cope with fear, depression and boredom. We have had an increase in drug overdose deaths in the past 24 hours. Please check in on those you love! And always have naloxone on hand. Get free naloxone by mail here:columbus.gov/cfcap 

Providers in ADAMH System of Care are accepting new clients. See a full list here: adamhfranklin.org/find-help/our-network.”

Mental health is not secondary to physical health. They are intertwined. Please find ways to care for both. If you are sheltering with family members be willing to talk openly about worries and fears. Be willing to be vulnerable and model self-care for those in your household and in your life. Do not assume that self-care has to be elaborate yoga routines, long bubble baths, or at home manicures. While all of those things are wonderful, you might not have the time and space for that. Self-care is also eating, showering, paying bills or reaching out to a company to get help with a deferment, reading a book, or playing a board game with family. Self-care is reaching out. If you are staying home alone or know someone who is, set up a call. It doesn’t have to be for a conversation. Ask if you can just hang out on the line together or in a Skype or FaceTime call together. Self-care is admitting that this is all really hard and that sometimes it is more than we think we can handle. Self-care sometimes means a good cry or a good laugh…or both…at the same time. The stakes feel so high lately, and they are. Be forgiving, be kind, be supportive to yourself.

If you need more, if you feel stressed, overwhelmed or lonely during this time of uncertainty and you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know or you think you need professional help you can call 614.276.CARE (2273) to talk to a licensed Netcare Access social worker or counselor who can provide emotional support and direct you to helpful resources. You can also chat online by visiting NetcareAccess.org or ADAMHFranklin.org

Please utilize these local resources: 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (17 and under) 614.722.1800 

Crisis Text LineText the keyword “4hope” to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor within 5 minutes. The Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential service available 24/7 via text on mobile devices.

Suicide Prevention Hotline614.221.5445**Text Line available Monday – Friday noon to 10 pm

We will be back tomorrow with more distance learning options, more ways to engage and make. You are strong, you are marvelous, you are making a difference.

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