COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in many ways. Our Aggie family has stepped up and is helping to slow the spread. We care about the anxiety and stress on members of our community and we want to support one another. By coping with this challenge together, our community will grow stronger.
Tips for Mental Wellness
For many, COVID-19 has brought many unfamiliar challenges, and it has naturally created anxiety and fear. We might find ourselves worrying constantly about our loved ones, feeling stressed about a job or finances, feeling frustrated about the changes in our life, or struggling with loneliness from self-isolation. Our sleep and eating might be impacted. Limitations and changes placed on our life might lead to feelings of anger, frustration, and a lack of control.
Consume News in Reasonable Amounts
Managing the information we receive can also be a challenge as we are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of news on COVID-19. While it is important to stay informed, too much information can heighten the sense of panic and anxiety. The American Psychological Association recommends we limit news consumption to reliable sources and balance the time we spend on consuming news by engaging in other activities (e.g., exercise, watching movies).
We don’t want to wait to start managing stress. If we are in self-isolation or quarantine, it is helpful to follow a daily routine (make a new routine if necessary), continue engaging in daily productive tasks, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You might reframe self-isolation/quarantine as a unique opportunity to spend time with ourselves and loved ones. Staying virtually connected with each other, whether we are in quarantine or social distancing, is important. Schedule a virtual gathering and get creative with ways to spend time with others online. USUSA and other USU offices are working on hosting virtual events, and we encourage everyone to stay connected with our Aggie Family.
Focus on What You Can Control
Shifting our focus to what we can control versus what we can’t control is also critical. Things we can control include following personal prevention strategies (e.g., washing hands), engaging in productive tasks, and keeping our personal space in order. Taking breaks and investing in self-care time are important. Activities such as deep breathing and meditation continue to be effective coping strategies, as well. Maintaining some type of physical activity during these stressful times is also advised.
Seek Help if You Experience Stigma
Unfortunately, the outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted an uptick of bias and racism. Intense fear of this infectious illness, coupled with a lack of credible information, creates an environment for bias and xenophobia to take shape. It is critical that we stay grounded in facts taken from trusted sources. Let’s check and challenge such biases in all of our interactions, whether in person or on social media. As an Aggie family, we look out for one another. If you experience or witness an incident of bias, please contact the USU Inclusion Center at 453-797-1729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Wellness Resources for Everyone
IHC Emotional Health Relief Hotline
833-442-2211 | Intermountain Healthcare offers a free Emotional Health Relief Hotline, open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. This resource is available to all community members.
The SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line app is free and provides 24/7 access to crisis counseling with trained therapists, as well as school tip reporting for students and their parents or guardians. Available on Apple and Android Devices. You may also call 801-587-0712.
National Suicide Prevention Line
1-800-273-8255 | The National Suicide Prevention Line provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals.
Mental Wellness Resources for Students
Counseling and Psychological Services
As of Monday March 30, USU CAPS remains open for telehealth appointments only. If you are a current client at CAPS, you and your therapist can continue to meet for your regular appointments via phone or Zoom Telehealth sessions as long as you remain in the state of Utah.
CAPS will also continue to offer single-session, one-time consultations and crisis appointments via telehealth. To make a new appointment at CAPS, you can reach us by phone during normal business hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
USU Self-Guided Resources
The resource library contains tools to build mental well-being.
This is a six-part workshop, and each part is 15-25 minutes long. You will learn signs of stress, coping strategies, and ideas for developing your own wellness plan. It is available free to anyone.
ACT Guide is an online self-help program designed by psychologist at USU to foster emotional well-being and help individuals cope with mental health issues. You have to be 18 years or older, and the program is free to USU students for the first six months. Available for faculty and staff, $10 for six months.
The online mental well-being course provides training on managing the stress and difficulties that come with being a college student. This course discusses tools to help you and your friends, including stress management strategies, ways to recognize distress, and where you could go to seek support. Available to USU students at no cost.
For Students of Color
Text STEVE to 741741 to connect to a culturally-trained crisis counselor 24/7.
For LGBTQIA+ Students
- TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorChat: Acces through a computer, not a smart phone or tablet.
- TrevorText: Text START to 678678
Mental Wellness Resources for Employees
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Aetna Resources For Living is an employer sponsored Employee Assistance Program (EAP), available at no cost to you and all members of your household. That includes dependent children up to age 26, whether or not they live at home. Services are confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access up to 6 counseling sessions per issue per year. You can also call 24 hours a day for in-the-moment emotional well-being support. Counseling sessions are available face to face or online with televideo. Services are free and confidential.
In addition to counseling, Aetna Resources For Living provides free access to myStrength, a new kind of online wellness portal where you can sign up to use online evidence-based resources to strengthen your whole self – mind, body, and spirit. MyStrength can give you personalized programs for depression, anxiety, stress reduction, substance misuse and chronic pain management. With myStrength, you can get practical ideas for improving your emotional well-being every day. myStrength has recently added resources and supports surrounding COVID-19 and the behavioral health needs that you may have during this time. The username and password needed to access this benefit free can be found in the link above.