Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/18/2020 --The last two months have been interesting to say the least. COVID-19 is impacting more than our physical health. New challenges such as isolation, balancing working and family responsibilities from home, or dealing with job loss, and the unpredictability of just about everything, can create or exacerbate stress and negatively impact mental wellbeing.
Intermountain Healthcare recently set up a free Emotional Relief hotline for anyone who needs mental health support related to COVID-19. Caregivers are available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week to provide emotional health guidance. The hotline is for those experiencing mild emotional distress to those with more intense mental health needs. The hotline is available in English as well as Spanish and 19 other languages. Call 1-833-442-2211 to get connected with appropriate self-care tools, treatment options, or crisis resources.
"Mental health is one of the top areas of concern," said Jordan Merrill, Community Health Specialist for Intermountain in southwest Utah. "Every aspect of life has a touchpoint back to mental and emotional health. Depression, mood disorders, and anxiety are only a part of mental health. Emotional health also encompasses the way we interact with others and the world around us, and how we feel on a daily basis."
During these unprecedented times, it is especially important to self-care mentally. A strong emotional foundation is necessary to care for and support others. Merrill offered a few tips for staying mentally healthy during these challenging and turbulent times.
#1 Appropriately use technology. "Social media can be overwhelming," said Merrill. "Try technology that uplifts: music, guided meditation, a good book, mindfulness exercises, or even games or crossword puzzles."
#2 Get some physical exercise. "Exercise is an important part of self-care," said Merrill. "Walk around your house, do some jumping-jacks. Getting your blood pumping will relieve stress, improve sleep, and improve your outlook on life."
#3 Stay connected with friends and family. "It's possible to connect even while we social distance," said Merrill. "Drive-by chats, video chats, phone calls, texts, and virtual hangouts are all appropriate ways to reach out while maintaining a physical distance."
#4 Write down worries. Make a list of specific concerns or fears and then write down a list of available resources that can help address those concerns. Reach out for help if necessary.
"We've seen a big uptick this last month in people reaching out for mental health resources," said Merrill. "People are increasingly using technology-based options to make connections for emotional relief. During times of great stress, people may feel lonely, isolated, and like there is nowhere to turn for help. There are several great resources now available online; from mental health self-care tools, to crisis intervention, to connections to community resources."
The resources below can help with emotional health maintenance or relief:
- Contact primary care provider or pediatrician by phone
- Call the COVID-19 Emotional Health Relief Hotline 1-833-442-2211
- Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
- Call the Disaster Distress Hotline 1-800-985-5990
- Download the myStrength app on your device using the free access code UDHSguest33
- Call 2-1-1 or visit www.211utah.org for information regarding emergency child care, alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, and to find local resources.
- Go to Reach4hopeutah.org for crisis resources, or group training for suicide prevention
#5 Remember these turbulent times won't last forever. While the ambiguity of today can be challenging, there are many things that can be enjoyed right now that probably wouldn't be otherwise.
"Learn and know your emotional limits," said Merrill. "Don't expect too much from yourself, and take time to decompress and self-care. Understand that you can't control everything. Control what you can by caring for yourself first, and then you will be better able to help others."
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare