Continuing mental health treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak

Mar 20th, 2020

It seems every day we face new worries – financial instability, supply shortages, and worries over self-quarantines and social distancing. Living with the threat of COVID-19 can leave even the most mentally and physically fit among us anxious and depressed.

For those already dealing with mental health challenges, uncertain times can become overwhelming, creating a sense of helplessness and an urge to withdraw.

Now is the critical time to continue mental health treatment plans and monitor for any new symptoms.

Talk to your doctor

Keep the lines of communication open with your mental health care provider. In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, your doctor might have limited office hours, or you could be asked to stay home if you’re sick. In these cases, telehealth may be an option. Talk to your provider to see what services are available online. For most people with a smart phone and an internet connection, it is possible to have a virtual visit.

Keep up with your medications

If you are limiting trips out in public, ask your health care provider about getting a 90-day, mail-order supply of your prescribed medications. Several insurers are waiving prescription refill limits in light of the outbreak, and some pharmacy chains are waiving delivery fees. If these options aren’t available to you, be sure to keep track of when your prescriptions are set to run out and refill them as soon as it’s allowed.

Join a virtual support group

There are numerous free online support communities and emotional support hotlines to help you feel less alone. Visit the National Association of Mental Illness HelpLine Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide for a complete listing of virtual groups.

Think twice about the ER

It is normal and valid to feel sad, anxious, angry or scared because of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, save a trip to the emergency room for true life-threatening situations. You don’t want to risk exposure to others who might be contagious or cause a strain on resources needed for those who are seriously ill.

Help in an emergency

If you or a loved one is in imminent danger of harm, call 911. Other immediate options for help include calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517). The National Suicide Hotline is also available at 1-800-273-TALK.

As a nationally recognized provider of behavioral health services, Oceans Healthcare treats patients experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, behavioral changes related to medication management or substance abuse and other behavioral issues. Please contact us if we can help you or your loved one with their mental health challenges.

 

 
 

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