#alonetogether
In light of the COVID-19 virus, many of us are faced with major changes to our day-to-day lives. Schools, businesses, gyms, and community centers are closed across the state. The changes we’ve all had to make in a short amount of time (with more to come) will impact us in so many ways.

Here at Mental Health Connecticut (MHC), our greatest concern is for the wellbeing of our program participants, staff, supporters, community partners, and families across the state who are uncertain about the future. As the cases of COVID-19 rise, so does our anxiety, which could have long-lasting impact on our health.

MHC is no stranger to promoting health, wellness, and supportive communities. To increase our support for all of us in Connecticut, we are joining groups across the world to share educational resources and promote activities that will promote our ability to be #AloneTogether.

While it remains our hope that we can soon gather together and share these times in the same safe space, for now, we are hard at work in implementing new protocols for our staff and program participants and looking for ways that we can be of greatest support for the Connecticut community at-large.

We are also working on creating our annual #31DaysofWellness calendar, full of #AloneTogether inspired activities to promote health, wellness, and social connection through the month of May in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month. Leading up to May, we will share resources and other activities to help us all prepare and enjoy our time as a community #AloneTogether on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Join us by sharing your ideas and tagging us @MentalHealthCT and your idea may appear in our May calendar!

Until then, please read a message from our President and CEO about how MHC is responding to COVID-19, and check out the resources below:

 

support our program participants
Currently, we have two priorities that will help ease the burden for our program participants – many who live alone and on very limited budgets:

– Help us purchase food and supplies. Your donations will go directly to our program participants for groceries, toiletries, household supplies.
– Help us combat anxiety and isolation. Your donations will go to purchase items that our Mending Art team will use to create art kits for our program participants. Every $25 = 1 Mending Art Kit!

To make a donation toward these efforts, go to: https://mhconn.networkforgood.com/projects/95697-covid-19-relief-fund

resources
National Updates on COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization
Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources from Mental Health America

Connecticut Updates on COVID-19
CT Department of Health
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – General Information for Connecticut
State of Connecticut – For the latest information, resources, and guidance related to coronavirus
Information & Resources to Help Communities #LiveUnited During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Family Resources
Talking to Children about COVID-19
Animated video explaining COVID-19
Parenting during COVID-19
Scholastic Learn at Home – Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers.

Self-Care
Managing Anxiety and Stress
Self-Help Tools from Mental Health America
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of UncertaintyHow to practice self-care during coronavirus. 15 ways to practice self-care
How to protect your mental health during social distancing
How to cope with financial stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic
How to fight the social isolation of coronavirus

Looking for someone to talk to
– Crisis Text Line – In crisis? Text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 support in the US from a trained Crisis Counselor.
– 2-1-1 Connecticut – The 2-1-1 info hotline is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is for general questions about COVID-19. If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact your medical provider.
– Stamford Health’s COVID-19 Hotline 203-276-4111 – Stamford Health care team members are available at this number 7 days a week, from 7:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.
– Hartford HealthCare COVID-19 Hotline: 860-972-8100 or toll-free 833-621-0600 or Text Message: Text COVID19 to 31996 – Callers may speak with HHC clinical experts for answers to questions.

Looking for something (virtual) to do

Staying Connected #AloneTogether
Become an MHC StoryKeeper – Pledge to Be There, Listen, and Protect the stories you are told from those in your community. Receive monthly updates on resources and tips mindful and active listening.
Follow us on Facebook – For up to date information, helpful resources, and opportunities to share your comments on wellness topics, join us!
Follow us on Twitter – Share your wellness updates and tag @MentalHealthCT!
Follow us on Instagram – Share your photos and videos from where ever you are and tag @MentalHealthCT!
Follow us on LinkedIn – For professional updates and workplace wellness resources, connect with MHC!