• Katelynn Alcorn

Virtual Mental Health First Aid Kit for the 2020 Holidays


By Katelynn Alcorn


The Holidays present their own challenges to mental health every year, and we all know very well that this year presents additional challenges. You’re not alone in what you are dealing with, and we all deserve support. Here are online resources for common challenges during the holidays, in addition to COVID-19 mental health challenges.


Before specific resources, here are important numbers if you currently need them, or to keep at hand for you or someone you care about in the future. (U.S. Phone Numbers):


Suicide Hotline

800-273-8255


Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741


Domestic Violence Hotline

800-799-7233


First, a section with resources on COVID-19 stress and general mental health.


Continue scrolling for resources on specific topics that are commonly faced during the holidays, including depression/sadness, relationship strain, substance use, anxiousness, grief/loss, and isolation/loneliness. Resources are under specific topics here, but many of these can be helpful for several mental health challenges or overall mental wellness.




COVID-19 Stress and General Mental Health


Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety

Resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.

Virusanxiety.com


Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19

A pdf for parents/caregivers on how to protect your family both physically and emotionally during this infectious disease outbreak.

bit.ly/CO_CG_ref


HelpGuide

HelpGuide provides empowering, evidence-based information to help yourself and your loved ones find guidance and support during difficult times, including how to cope with the stresses of COVID-19.

Helpguide.org


Looking After Yourself

This website provides resources to provide information about various mental health challenges (from worry and rumination, health anxiety, self-compassion to tolerating distress, how to manage procrastination) as well as techniques that focus on a cognitive behavioral approach to managing difficulties.

https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself


Pixel Thoughts

A 60-second meditation tool to help clear your mind.

https://www.pixelthoughts.co/





Grief and Loss


What's Your Grief?

You don’t have to grieve alone. What’s Your Grief is a place for sharing, support, resources, & more.

whatsyourgrief.com


Wendt Center for Loss and Healing: About Grief

This page discusses common topics surrounding grief, and specifically addresses how the holiday season can be a very emotional time for those who have experienced loss.

https://bit.ly/WC_ref





Anxiousness


Decatastrophizing

This helpful worksheet gives insight into catastrophizing, and how to help correct this anxiety-provoking habit.

bit.ly/DACAT_ref


Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques turn attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocus on the present moment.

https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/grounding-techniques.pdf


Self-help Anxiety Management App

This app aims to help understand and manage anxiety. It offers a range of self-help methods for people who want to learn how to manage their anxiety. This link leads to the apple app store, but it is available through other application platforms as well.

http://bit.ly/SAMios_ref





Relationship Strain


Conflict Resolution Skills

Finding yourself in conflict over the holidays? Conflict is a normal part of relationships. Since relationship conflicts are inevitable, learning to deal with them in a healthy way is crucial.

bit.ly/CRS_ref


How to Create Healthy Boundaries

Unhealthy boundaries cause emotional pain that can lead to dependency, depression, anxiety, and even stress-induced physical illness. This resource discusses what healthy boundaries are, and how to create them in your relationships.

bit.ly/CHB_ref


Parental Stress Line

This is a 24/7 toll-free helpline for parents offering support, information on resources in your area, someone to talk to, and other parental help and guidance.

https://www.parentshelpingparents.org/parental-stress-line

Phone number: 1-800-632-8188





Sadness and Depression


Antidepressant Skills Workbook

This book is intended for those struggling with depression or their loved ones who want to help them. It provides more information on depression and scientifically researched depression management techniques.

https://bit.ly/DWD_ref


Antidepressant Skills Workbook for Teens

Like the Antidepressant Skills Workbook, but for teens struggling with depression and their loved ones who may want to help them.

https://bit.ly/DWDT_ref


Emotions Anonymous

Emotions Anonymous (EA) is a twelve-step program for recovery from mental and emotional illness. They offer online meetings which is a great way to connect and work on healing with others during COVID-19.

https://bit.ly/EMAN_res


Half of Us

Pre-COVID times, half of college students report they have been stressed to a point where they couldn’t function during the past year. I’d imagine that this is even greater for college students over this past year. Half of Us is an organization aimed at students and provides mental health information and how to help you or a friend who is struggling.

https://bit.ly/HOU_ref


To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA)

A great resource for self care tips and how to find help. TWLOHA is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

twloha.com





Loneliness and Isolation


How to Stay Connected While Intentionally Isolated during COVID-19

A compilation of resources on the physical, behavioral, and mental health effects of physical distancing and how to stay connected with others while intentionally isolating.

https://www.endsocialisolation.org/covid19


Connect2Affect

Strong social connections are central to our physical and mental well-being. When people connect, they affect each other's lives. Connect2Affect provides tools, resources and support to help you stay connected. Connect2Affect is aimed toward older adults but is useful for all ages.

connect2affect.org


Kindness

Kindness.org is designed to inspire real life action. With kindness, we can make social change, on a larger scale and in our own lives. Practicing kindness is a way to feel connected to others, and kindness.org has its own community to further connect with others.

Kindness.org


TheTribe Wellness Community

This is a free, online, wellness support community that offers members a convenient and safe place to connect. You can join the larger conversation on wellness and peer support, or limit your interactions to your core support group(s). This resource is also helpful to connect with others who are battling similar mental health issues as your own.

https://support.therapytribe.com/





Substance Use


In The Rooms

In The Rooms is an online addiction recovery community. It is a free recovery tool that offers 130 weekly online meetings for those recovering from addiction and related issues. They embrace multiple pathways to recovery, including all 12 Step, Non-12 Step, wellness and mental health modalities.

InTheRooms.com


Recovery Dharma

Recovery Dharma welcomes anyone who is looking to heal from addiction and addictive behavior. There are various online meetings for different regions across the world.

RecoveryDharma.org


Virtual Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous Meetings for remote or isolated addicts from around the world who may be unable to attend local face to face meetings.

Virtual-na.org


Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Provides NA resources and how to connect to a local or virtual NA meeting.

na.org

Phone Number: 818-773-9999


Nar-Anon

Provides support for family and friends of individuals struggling with substance use, specifically through group meetings that focus on a 12-step program. There are virtual and in person meetings.

nar-anon.org

Phone Number: 800-477-6291


Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (OIAA)

Provides the OIAA Directory which features 1,000+ online AA meetings worldwide, ranging from video or telephone conferences to email or chat groups in many languages, available 24/7. The OIAA committee is available 24/7 for those searching for help with a drinking problem. Also provides connection to many other online AA resources.

Aa-intergroup.org




Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

AA resources and how to connect to a local or virtual AA meeting.

aa.org

Phone Number: 212-870-3400


Al-Anon

Helps family and friends recover from the effects of someone else's drinking through a 12-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings either virtual or in person.

al-anon.org





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