COVID-19 has made life harder for some of us, and life was already hard in some cases. Changes to our daily lives and worries about how this will all work out can feel overwhelming. Maybe it feels like too much.
Your feelings are valid. You don’t need to be ashamed if you feel anxious or afraid, and you don’t have to carry these things alone. Whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re afraid of, there’s a good chance that millions of people in this exact moment feel exactly the same.
It’s OK to ask for help. It’s not weak; it’s brave, and it gives others permission to ask for help too. Others help us find resources and new ideas about what to do. We can help each other feel less alone. This is a time to lean on each other.
Everyone struggles at times, but if a problem is lasting too long, is too intense or feels like more than you can handle, that is a sign to reach out for help.
If you are immediately concerned about yourself or a friend, use the following resources:
- 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/news/mental-health-centers-are-open/
- 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 at this link.
It’s important to learn the warning signs of suicide, self-harm, and substance abuse.
Look for changes in behavior or personality.
Trust your gut. If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, don’t hesitate to get help. You don’t have to know what is wrong - just that you or someone else is struggling.
Be direct with your friends. Tell them you’re worried and why, ask them how they’re feeling, and offer to reach out to a professional and/or family member with them or for them.