Every day the news tells us the situation is getting worse. But remember, we have a huge number of people working on solutions to our medical and economic challenges at every level.

Our doctors and nurses are doing an incredible job under a lot of pressure and will continue to do so. Our first responders are adapting and innovating in their fields. Our governments are all doing their part. And we are doing ours. We are all in this together.

But there is stress. There is anxiety. There is depression. So, what can we do?

First, let’s look at our safety net. Family comes first. Are you in touch? Are you supporting each other? Are you watching for signs of stress and anxiety? Are you working on maintaining good health; eating right; staying busy?

Next, let’s look at our neighborhoods and social networks. Are you reaching out? Are you taking steps to help neighbors who may be in a more precarious position? Are you able to coordinate with others to help your neighbors?

When a friend or family member is ill, we often help relieve the stresses of daily life by getting essential chores done or making casseroles or lasagnas and bringing them over. Let’s do more of this as we move forward.

Here are some coping tips from the Centers for Disease Control:

.           Take breaks from watching the news. This in itself can be stressful.

.           Take care of your body. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep.

.           Take time to unwind. Do the things you enjoy.

.           Connect with Friends and Family.

.           Keep up with your regular routines. Schedule and block out time for these activities.

.           Be a Role Model

.           Seek help when needed.

Here are some of the help line numbers:

NAMI Warm Line – 714-991- 6412 or Toll Free 877- 910-9276

New Hope Crisis Counseling Line – 714 – NEW – HOPE (639-4673)

211 – OC Resources

1 – 855 – OCLINKS – Orange County Behavioral Health Information & connection

Lifeline Chat – 1- 800-273 – 8255 or http://www.contact-usa.org/chat.html

Veteran’s Hot Line – (877) 764 – 5482

Di Di Hirsch Mental Health Services – 1-877-727-4747

Together, we are going to get through this. We will be stronger and more resilient. Be kind to one another.

Matt Holzmann, Vice Chair, Orange County Mental Health Board

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