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COVID-19 has presented everyone with a multitude of internal and external pandemic related stress points to grapple with. For some, it’s panic over the loss of a job, depression spawned from extended social isolation, or exhaustion fueled by never ending anxiety. While Netflix, Instagram and other platforms can provide much needed temporary distractions, they both fall short in addressing the root problem. Below are two common stressors that members of your community may be experiencing and some ways that you can help out:

An increase or worsening of mental health conditions. Community members with existing mental health conditions may find their conditions exacerbated by the addition of pandemic related stress. Maintaining and/or finding mental health treatment in a timely fashion can help individuals minimize negative outcomes. Many states have updated or expanded their Telehealth policies. This allows community members the ability to access healthcare providers online or over the phone as opposed to in-person appointments.

What can your organization do to help?

  • Encourage your community members to maintain regular mental health treatments via public service announcements or mass notifications.
  • Research and promote Telehealth opportunities in your state. Find updated state Telehealth policy information here. 
  • Provide an easy-access list of local mental health resources. 

An increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Community members already struggling with addiction issues may find disrupted daily routines especially hard to cope with. To combat support group isolation many Alcoholics Anonymous groups and Narcotics Anonymous groups have moved support meetings online. 

What can your organization do to help?

  • De-stigmatize substance abuse by opening up informative and research-based community conversations on the topic.
  • Provide a variety of local resources (online, over the phone, in-person) that community members can easily access. A good place to start is The National Helpline.

Additionally, if you’d like to search for a local or online therapist directly, you can do so at psychologytoday.com, betterhelp.com, or by searching the internet for other resources.

If your organization is struggling to communicate effectively with staff, employees or community members during the COVID-19 pandemic, 911Cellular wants to help. Our Mass Notification System and Mobile Safety App are designed to efficiently and effectively communicate critical information to your community. For more information please visit our website