As news anchors continue to report on the uptick of COVID-related suicides, the unknown can lead to distress and uncertainty. Below are three tips to help prevent suicide during this once in a lifetime event.
Three Ways to Cope
1. Pay attention to what has your attention. Watching the constant news cycles, all day long, can create a great deal of anxiety. For this reason, it may be best to take a break from watching television during this time. If you need updates on the pandemic, head on over to websites such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Communicate. If you don’t live with your loved ones, the pandemic can pose a special risk because you may be isolated alone. What can I do? Regularly communicate with loved ones. Texting, phone calls and video calls are a safe way to stay in touch as we navigate through COVID-19. Especially communicate with people who have existing mental health challenges such as depression.
3. Avoid drugs and alcohol. In addition to altering your mood, drugs and alcohol can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and increase the risk of certain complications associated with COVID-19. And, if you are at risk for harming yourself, dial 911. The following websites also may be of help:
- Disaster Distress Helpline: call or text 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish);
- National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish or Lifeline Crisis Chat;
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522;
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453;
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online;
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instructions;
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255.
A Final Thought
What does my new normal look like? How long will the pandemic last? Although no one knows the exact answers to these questions, we can take some comfort in knowing what can make things better during this time.