Suicide is the tenth most common cause of death in the U.S. Often it’s related to serious depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or a major stressful event. Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention.
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Hotlines – 24/7 hotlines are available to provide support and information for general mental health concerns and specific issues.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255 – The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
- Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
Here are some resources to help you and your family navigate the challenges.
- LifeCare – many resources and guidance for mental health.
- CDC’s “Manage Anxiety and Stress”page provides what stress can look like and tips to manage that stress.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a guide for parents and caregivers to help families cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Mental Health America has compiled a range of resources and information on their “Mental Health and COVID-19” page.