COVID-19 Related Resources - MIRECC / CoE
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COVID-19 Related Resources

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Emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual needs are interconnected, perhaps especially now in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some resources from our Mental Health and Chaplaincy program as well as elsewhere in VA to help you navigate challenges and opportunities during this time.

During times like these with significant perceived threat in a rapidly evolving situation, it is understandable that we may experience added stress and a change in our mood. Below are a few approaches to managing the increased or prolonged stress and emotional burden during this time of crisis.

Resources

ℴ Many of us are not serving in frontline roles, but we can personally participate and encourage others to engage in life promoting behaviors as outlined in the Upstream Suicide Prevention model.

ℴ Coping with stress is a challenge during this time. The "Stress and Resilience" video from our Upstream Prevention series includes multidisciplinary perspectives on this topic.

ℴ The VA has created a page dedicated to Maintaining and Enhancing Your Mental Health and Well-Being during this time with guidance and resources about stress, connection, information, and support.

ℴ The COVID Coach app was developed to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The app provides mental health self-assessments, coping tools, and a way to stay on top of your own mental health.

ℴ The VA’s Moving Forward: Overcoming Life’s Challenges site provides well-being quizzes, games, online education, worksheets, and an accompanying app for navigating acutely stressful moments.

As we continue to practice physical distancing to protect ourselves, others, and those caring for the sick, our familiar avenues for community are limited. We may struggle to feel connected. Despite changes we experience, it is important to stay dedicated to providing and seeking support and belonging—perhaps more now than ever before. Below are a few resources you may find helpful in working through the emotional and spiritual strains brought on by the pandemic.

Resources

ℴ Our four-part "A Place to Call Home" video series invites faith communities to explore ways of supporting persons who can sometimes struggle to connect in community, focusing on Veterans as well as persons with mental health struggles. These groups merit special consideration during this time, and the topics addressed in this series are also applicable beyond just these two populations. The availability of these videos online may be especially useful for faith communities now relying more heavily on technology.

ℴ Specifically, the fourth installment of the “A Place to Call Home Series” addressing "Belonging" is a topic meriting special attention during the pandemic. Despite the constraints put on our ability to connect, the need remains to belong to a group of persons who welcome us.

ℴ Our healthcare systems are providing crucial support to those directly impacted by the virus. We can also consider ways that we as members of our personal and professional communities can help to foster community during these times. Our “Human Flourishing” video in the Upstream series contains a segment here that reminds us that community is fundamental to human flourishing.

ℴ At different points during these challenging times and as we recover together, we will be in positions of seeking and providing support to those we care about. This resource from the VA National Center for PTSD provides two handouts (Giving Social Support and Seeking Social Support ) to help join hands in the aftermath of widespread disaster.

In addition to increasing stress, times of widespread cultural struggle can also invite us to engage in compassionate and valued living for the benefit of all. Below are a few resources aimed at not just coping, but engaging with who we want to be during this time.

Resources

ℴ Rabbi Dayle Friedman engages us in a richer way to think about change and crisis in a way that encourages growth and resilience in our Upstream Video Series.

ℴ The VA National Center for PTSD also provides recommendations for providers and community leaders as they care for others during this time. Consider how you can practice compassion in line with what is important to you through this lens.

ℴ The VA Whole Health initiative published this resource on how to practice compassionate living.

ℴ This educational resource from the VA's "Clergy Toolkit" outlines how you can consider what is “meaningful” in your own life, and how those values can guide you through the duration of this stressful time.

ℴ The VA National Center for PTSD provides many resources for Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak, many of which concern staying grounded in kindness for yourself and others. A few suggestions include:

ℴ Modify your definition of a "good day" to meet the current reality of the situation. Staying creative and flexible about how we think about our day-to-day during uncertain times helps to build a sustainable foundation for our well-being.

ℴ “Celebrate Successes” in ways you would not usually. Take the change in circumstances as a way to practice gratitude for the things we take for granted.

ℴ Take the opportunity to practice being “patient and kind with yourself.” It is a skill that will pay off long after we get through this.

ℴ Stay knowledgeable about the situation without “overloading”—balance is key.

Interdisciplinary efforts, support, and communication are key during a time when healthcare workers, community leaders, and team members are pressed to act flexibly in their roles, take on unfamiliar or increased task loads, and navigate emotionally demanding situations. Consider how you might learn from those with expertise different from your own—and what you can offer outside your typical circle.

Resources

ℴ This resource from the VA National Center for PTSD discusses the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers working during the pandemic, and how they can protect their own well-being.

ℴ CDC’s emergency responders coping resource reminds workers during the pandemic to lean on and look out for each other amidst the stressors of their tasks.

ℴ VA chaplains serve as a spiritual support resource for Veterans and can be contacted through local VA medical centers. This map lists all VA chaplains with specialized training in integrating evidence-based psychosocial care approaches with the spiritual care they provide.

If you or someone you know is feeling the burden of these times acutely and would like to speak with someone, please consult the list of resources below.

For Veterans

ℴ Coaching Into Care is a national telephone service of the VA which aims to educate, support, and empower family members and friends who are seeking mental health care or services for a Veteran.

For Service Members

ℴ inTransition is a free, confidential program that offers specialized coaching and assistance for active-duty service members, National Guard members, reservists, veterans and retirees who need access to mental health care.

Mental Health Treatment

ℴ Treatment Works for Vets provides education, resources, and access to care for mental health concerns useful to anyone struggling with concerns about their mental health.

National Crisis Resources

ℴ National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

ℴ SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

ℴ National Domestic Violence Hotline

ℴ National Sexual Assault Hotline