Resilience During CrisiS
Updated: December 14, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington has launched a support program called Washington Listens. People who use Washington Listens services receive support to manage elevated stress and cope with the changes due to COVID-19. Washington Listens is available to anyone in Washington to speak to a support specialist. Callers receive support and connection to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous. The only information Washington Listens tracks are the number of calls and the nature of those calls, to ensure that people’s needs are met.
Updated: Nov. 2, 2020
As we approach the 9th month since regular school and life routines were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to face the intense challenges of loss, uncertainty, and stress which have many impacts on daily life. Children and adults alike feel the effects of long-term stress, with its associated reactions and behavioral symptoms. Social and political events may be acting as ‘trigger events’ to exacerbate stress responses.
The illustration from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA) outlines the phases we expect to see following a major community crisis or disaster. Currently, many would say we are in the middle of the disillusionment phase.
Common reactions to the stress of a major community crisis can include physical, cognitive/mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges. These can be considered normal responses to an abnormal situation. If you and your family are feeling that stress, you are not alone.
What Can We Do?
It is more important now than ever that we access social and community supports and develop and strengthen coping skills to reduce behavioral health symptoms. Knowing what to watch for and where to reach out for help when needed is critical. The typical long-term outcome to disaster is resilience, not disorder. But the length and course of the reconstruction phase is uncertain, and we can expect continued setbacks.
The Washington State Department of Health has published a COVID-19 Behavioral Health Group Impact Reference Guide, which can be accessed in full here or accessed at the bottom of this page. Continue to scroll down for key excerpts and strategies.
If you find that stress symptoms are making it difficult to manage your daily life, or are concerned about the responses of your child or someone else, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Our schools have counselors who are trained to help and can refer you to additional community based resources if needed. Please see contact information for our school counselors in the contact accordions.
Community based resources can also be accessed by calling 2-1-1. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255(TALK), or text 741741.
Department of Health COVID-19 Behavioral Health Group Impact Reference Guide
Please click the image to open the complete guide