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If you’re feeling stressed or nervous during these days of COVID-19, you’re not alone. Uncertainty and the sense of not being safe — not to mention physical distancing, round-the-clock news and empty grocery shelves — are stressful. What you’re feeling is common around the world and across Seward.

We know you’re looking for ways to take care of yourself and we want to encourage you to reach out to both friends, family, and trained professionals when needed.

If you or someone you care about feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or you want to harm yourself or others, call our local Behavioral Health Crisis Line at 224-3027 or 911.

You can also contact SeaView Community Services at 224-5257 to schedule a screening or therapy appointment, as we are fully operational and open for business through tele-therapy options of video and telephone. SeaView’s residential programs for individuals with severe mental illness and substance use disorders remain open as well, so if you need support, we are here.

We encourage you to stay connected with your loved ones while practicing physical distancing. It’s important that you support one other during this difficult time, especially if your loved one may be facing a mental health or substance use concern.

Use these tips to reach out to someone who might need you:

  1. Treat the person with respect and dignity. Listen nonjudgmentally and respect the person’s privacy and confidentiality.
  2. Offer consistent emotional support and understanding.In difficult times, we all need additional love and understanding. Remember to be empathetic, compassionate and patient.
  3. Have realistic expectations. Accept the person as they are. Tough times can make it harder than usual to do everyday activities like cleaning the house, paying bills or feeding the dog.
  4. Give the person hope. Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, they will feel better and there is hope for a more positive future.
  5. Provide practical help. Offer help with overwhelming tasks but be careful not to take over or encourage dependency. For example, offer to bring groceries over.
  6. Offer information.Provide information and resources for additional support, including self-help strategies and professional help.

Several tips for what not to do are:

  1. Don’t tell someone to “snap out of it” or to “get over it.”
  2. Don’t adopt an overinvolved or overprotective attitude toward someone who is depressed.
  3. Don’t use a patronizing tone of voice or a facial expression that shows an extreme look of concern.
  4. Don’t ignore, disagree with or dismiss the person’s feelings by attempting to say something positive like, “You don’t seem that bad to me.”

Professional help may be needed when you’re feeling depressed or anxious. It is a good idea to discuss the appropriateness of specific strategies with a mental health professional. Below are some options available at SeaView Community Services to assist you:

  • Behavioral Health Screenings/Brief Interventions. Screening services and support provided through video or telephone to assist you during this time of stress and anxiety. These services are provided free of charge through a partnership with Seward Community Health Center.
  • Tele-therapy. Treatment services including individual and family psychotherapy delivered over the internet or on the telephone.
  • Tele-psychiatry. Evaluation and Medication Management services by our board-certified psychiatrist over video to assist you in managing your behavioral health condition.
  • Intensive Treatment Services and Housing. Behavioral health services with 24/7 support and housing for individuals with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

If you’re still not sure what to do, reach out today by calling 224-5257 to explore options. We can help you with determining the best next steps for behavioral health support strategies, resources or treatments. Thank you for taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time.