In these pressing times, it is more important than ever to reach out to a friend, be transparent, and ask how they're doing.
By Tarun Amasa, Fairview High School | April 13, 2020
Tarun Amasa lives in Boulder and is a senior at Fairview High School. Tarun is passionate about civic engagement and serves as a board member on the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Board.
The past few weeks with COVID-19 has been anything but predictable. As a senior at Fairview High school, I, like many of my peers, was excited to graduate. At first, when school was canceled, we all were happy to get some time off. But as the days progressed, we were all left thinking about our last day at school and all the final hugs and goodbyes we never had a chance to give. Now, we would all give up the extra days sleeping in for an opportunity to go back to our first-period class.
As the days have gone by, my initial feelings of shock have stabilized, and I've begun to think differently about the situation at hand. In every way, I believe that social distancing is an absolute necessity, and we all have an essential role to play in keeping each other safe. While it's been difficult not to see any of my friends, apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Zoom make it easy to be interconnected with each other. Instead of "Social Distancing,” I really think we should think of it as "Distant Socializing." In these pressing times, it is more important than ever to reach out to a friend, be transparent, and ask how they're doing.
The best thing of all is spending more time with my parents, sister, and new puppy. With the prior speed of school and work, our interactions were limited, but now, it's the opposite. With online classes and my parents working from home, we've had more conversations and spent quality time together: Something I deeply value, knowing I'll be far away next year in college.
I am incredibly grateful for our first responders and essential workers who are at the front line, and their work should be highly commended. To stop the spread of COVID-19, I believe we need the engagement of everyone in our community in new capacities. My mom often purchases groceries for our more elderly neighbors, and I've been working to support local nonprofits like Response4Life, an initiative to build and distribute 200,000 low-cost ventilators to hospitals in need.
As always, if you are immediately concerned about yourself or a friend, please use the resources below:
- Colorado Crisis Services offers free, confidential, professional, 24/7 support. Call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255
- Safe2Tell is available to accept calls and texts if you are worried about a friend. Call 1-877-542-7233 or download the app. https://safe2tell.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRPEZwzcVwo
- Find behavioral health resources that serve your county by visiting the Colorado Behavioral Health Council’s webpage for COVID-19: https://www.cbhc.org/covid-19-info/
- The Trevor Project offers crisis intervention for LGBTQQ youth: https://www.thetrevorproject.org 866-488-7386; Text “START” to 678678, or chat live on the website
- Trans Lifeline offers support for the trans community: https://www.translifeline.org/ 24/7 Hotline 877-565-8860
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Colorado State Emergency Operations Center: Updates on COVID-19
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Managing Anxiety and Stress" contains basic guidance on managing mental health stressors during COVID-19.
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) blog post, "Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty" provides five suggestions for coping with the uncertainty due to COVID-19.
- North Range Behavioral Health has also compiled resources for talking to and working with homebound children.