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How to take care of your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

by Dr. Sosunmolu Shoyinka, Chief Medical Officer, City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) These are stressful and uncertain times. The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic is very sudden and can be confusing. This may provoke anxiety for many people. Those with pre-existing anxiety and other mental health conditions may be particularly at risk. Individuals and teams whose work bring them in contact with infected persons may experience stress and anxiety. Other groups at risk for increased stress include the elderly, those caring for sick or vulnerable persons, and those experiencing significant changes to work, travel, or family life. Regardless of status or work function, we can anticipate that all of us will at some point experience some increased stress. At times like this, it is important to take steps to promote mental wellness and resilience. DBHIDS aligns with SAMHSA, the American Psychological Association,…

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Helpful Webinars: Managing and Coping During COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, BHTEN and DBHIDS Education and Training are hosting a weekly webinar series about adapting to this unforeseen situation. Webinars will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00 pm via Zoom, beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Initial topics will include: Alcohol Dependence and COVID-19 Implications Stress & Coping during COVID-19 Supporting Children during COVID-19 Coping & Self Care Best Practices for Telecommuting Check back for links to the rest of the upcoming webinars.  

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Your Mental Health and Coping during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

In situations such as concern around COVID-19, the Coronavirus, many people experience increased stress, anxiousness and panic. The constant stream of articles being shared on social media and televised news reports can increase feelings of worry and uncertainty.  To manage such situations, it is important to: Reference accurate prevention information, and reliable, factual resources such as the World Health Organization, the CDC  and the City of Philadelphia in order to distinguish facts from rumors. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and avoid constant conversation with others about subjects that are distressing. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Seek information at specific times once or twice a day. Maintain a healthy lifestyle - including proper diet, sleep, and exercise. Stay connected with others online or over the phone even if you are maintaining your physical distance. Take deep breaths, stretch…

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Impact of Gardening on Mental Health

This week we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate these holidays than by getting your hands dirty. Gardening engages you physically, mentally, and socially. Health benefits are numerous and you don’t need to live in the suburbs or the country to experience gardening and its benefits.  Gardening can positively impact a number of health outcomes, including: Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety Decrease in reported stress and mood disturbances Decrease in BMI Higher reported sense of community Increased physical activity Improved cognitive function Gardening has both immediate and long-term effects on health. For individuals with mental health conditions, horticultural therapy - using gardening as a means to facilitate dialogue and skill building - has shown promise for improving chronic and acute mental health conditions. People report feeling happier almost immediately when engaging in gardening. Over time, individuals lowered their BMI through physical activity…

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