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Emotional & Mental Well-Being

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Maintaining emotional and mental resilience during the pandemic is essential to our well-being. Below are some ways we can ensure emotional and mental resilience, followed by a select list of emotional and mental health resources.

  • Get enough sleep: Go to bed and rise the same time each day.
  • Exercise regularly: Preferably outdoors—even walking will do.
  • Eat and drink healthy: Limit caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars.
  • Limit smoking and drinking: Your body needs energy to survive sudden illness.
  • Limit screen time: Reading or watching too much news or social media can increase anxiety.
  • Relax and recharge: Giving yourself a break, from meditation to play, will decrease stress.
  • Keep a routine: Structure helps minimize uncertainty about the future.
  • Stay busy: Don’t allow too much time to dwell on present circumstances.
  • Keep a gratitude journal: Thankfulness can change attitudes and perspectives.
  • Practice altruism: Service to others informs positive mental and emotional health.
  • Practice an art or spirituality: Absorbing into your creativity is rejuvenating.
  • Set priorities: Without them, life can often feel overwhelming.
  • Connect with others: Make time to schedule video and phone chats.
  • Access reliable sources: Misinformation can breed anxiety and fear.
  • Use your creativity: It can be a real source of vitality.
  • Stay in touch: Don’t delay routine wellness checks with your physicians.
  • Do something new every day: Novelty promotes vitality.
  • Frequently do what you’re good at: This will promote a sense of control and competence in unpredictable circumstances.
  • Develop rituals: Rituals help structure time and bridge transitions from one activity to another.
  • Find a support group: Connecting with like minds mitigates loneliness.
  • Seek professional help: VMC Primary CareVMC Psychiatry & Counseling ClinicPsychology TodayOpen Path Collective.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America 
Tips and strategies for minimizing pandemic-related anxiety from ADAA mental health professionals, as well as personal stories of triumph.

Warm Line: 877-500-WARM (877-500-9276)
For people living with emotional and mental health challenges.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 800-950-6264
Information addressing the intersection between COVID-19 and people affected by mental illness, their caregivers and loved ones.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (Veterans, press “1” for Veterans Crisis Line); Lifeline Chat
Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

Crisis Connections: 866-427-4747
Connects people in physical, emotional and financial crisis to services. 

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990
Provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Provides confidential text access from anywhere in the U.S. to a trained crisis counselor.

Teen Link: Call or text 866-833-6546
Teen volunteers are trained to listen to your mental health or social concerns and talk with you about whatever’s on your mind.

DocTalks with VMC Providers and Clinicians

Facing Loneliness While Being Socially IsolatedJoin psychotherapist Jamie Friddle, LMHC, as he covers some of the common emotions and symptoms many of us are experiencing in the COVID-19 pandemic while we are apart from our friends, family and loved ones.

Understanding DepressionJennifer Braden, MD, addresses common questions about depression, including how it is different from having the blues, the causes, how the pandemic has affected depression in some people, and where you can turn for help for yourself or for your loved ones.

Waiting Out the Pandemic: Cultivating Wellbeing in the Face of UncertaintyThis video addresses one of the challenges that we are all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic--waiting. Whether it’s waiting to see our friends in person or enduring unresolved concerns about our job or health, the worries we have about the unknown can be difficult. Join psychotherapist Jamie Friddle, LMHC, as he explains some techniques for coping with uncertainty in healthful ways and recognizing when you may need to seek more help.

Recognizing and Preventing Suicide in our Youth: Kari Tanta, PhD, addresses the risks and signs for suicide, and offers steps that parents and caregivers can take to help their loved ones. She also shares her personal perspective about what it is like as a parent currently experiencing these concerns in her own family.

Supporting Your Loved Ones: Suicide Prevention: Listen and learn from Valley psychotherapist Lonnie Renteria, LHMC, as he answers questions about how the pandemic has affected teens and young adults, including an increase in suicidal thoughts and attempted or completed suicides. Learn about warning signs to look for and steps you can take to help. 
Spanish Version: Apoyando a Sus Seres Queridos: Prevención del Suicidio

Coping with Family Stress During the Pandemic: Bridgitte Mathiasen, LMHC, offers stress-reduction tips and self-care techniques to manage the effects of too much togetherness while being in lockdown mode in your household.

Transition Back to Normal: Jamie Friddle, LMHC addresses these questions: How do we take what we've benefitted from during the pandemic and move forward? What's right at this time? What about our concerns or hesitations? Get tips for what to consider and how to journey through this time unlike any other. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-779-SAFE (7233)
Free, confidential, round-the-clock help in identifying abuse and planning for safety.

Love is Respect: 866-331-9474 (Text LOVEIS to 22522)
Supporting young people of all persuasions in cultivating healthy and safe relationships.

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 800-799-7233
A clearinghouse of information for victims of domestic violence, including links to local programs in your area.

DAWN: 425-656-7867
The largest provider of comprehensive domestic abuse services in south King County, offering immediate refuge from violence and expert guidance to survivors.

King County Mental Health Services 
King County provides publicly funded mental health services to low-income people in need.

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions 
Comprehensive list of resources to help Washington residents minimize financial crises caused by the pandemic.

Washington State Food Assistance Resources 
Resources for finding food in Washington.

Seattle and King County COVID-19 Emergency Food Resources 
Interactive lists and maps of food resources in the greater Seattle area.

King County 2-1-1 
2-1-1 Community Resources Online (CRO) is the most up-to-date and comprehensive database of health and human services available for all of Washington State.

Valley Children’s Therapy Pediatric Mental Health Resources Page
Resources for everyone, parents/caregivers, teens, and friends.

 American Psychiatric Association: Resources for Families 
Resources designed to support the well-being of the family and its children.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 
An excellent and well organized source of information for the public and clinicians alike.

SAMHSA Support for Families 
Resources for families coping with mental and substance use disorders.

Washington Department of Health Behavioral Health Impact Guide for Families and Children 
Risk and support factors for families, parents, guardians and children.

Behavioral Health Toolbox for Families 
Provides general information about common emotional responses of children, teens and families during disasters. 

Comprehensive resources for adapting emotionally and mentally to the unique stresses of the pandemic.

These resources below are for national health service websites from Scotland and Australia, but the information shared is applicable to anyone.

The Grief Recovery Method

Sixty-one tips on the experience of grief and how to help people through it.

The Healing Center Seattle

The Healing Center is open virtually and has adapted its grief support services to meet safety requirements during the pandemic.

Gay City Seattle COVID-19 Resources 
Multiple categories of resources, from housing to illness to meal giveaways and basic needs.

PFLAG Seattle 
Offers online support groups.

Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386, or text START to 678-678
A stalwart in support of LGBTQ+ youth in crisis.

Ingersoll Gender Center 
A database collection of organizations, support groups and more across Washington which provide resources and services to transgender and gender diverse people.

Donna Stephens Photo

Donna Stephens, Fitness Center Instructor at Valley Medical Center offers the following videos, "The Well," a source of strength and a resource that we can return to in times of need.

Be Thankful: a source of strength and resource

Be Inspired: take a moment for self care

Be Lifted: sustain with love, faith and hope

Be Moved: simple stretches and movements that are restorative and revitalizing

Be Anchored: in Earth's supportive energy 

Be Aligned: support and align your spine using gravity and ground force

Donna's video series "Move With Mindfulness" is intended to help improve emotional well-being while also reducing the effects of stress. Videos are below:

Move with Mindfulness, video 1Rejuvenate your mind and body with these tension releasing stretches for your upper body while seated in a chair.

Move with Mindfulness, video 2Focus on active stretches for the lower body while sitting to ease tight, stiff muscles.

Move with Mindfulness, video 3Take a stress-reducing break from your day while you mindfully nurture your houseplants.

Move with Mindfulness, video 4Donna guides you through using different senses to mindfully experience a break outside in nature.

Move with Mindfulness, video 5Donna demonstrates progressive muscle relaxation techniques for the upper body that you can do in a chair or while lying down.

Move with Mindfulness, video 6Donna demonstrates progressive muscle relaxation techniques for the lower body that you can do in a chair or while lying down.

Move with Mindfulness, video 7: Donna offers insights and appreciation for what your hands do for you and others, while also encouraging creativity in how you use your hands. 

One Mind Psyberguide 
Find the mental health app that best meets your needs.

COVID Coach

  • Education about coping during the pandemic
  • Tools for self-care and to improve emotional well-being
  • Trackers to check your mood and measure your growth toward personal goals
  • Graphs to visualize progress over time

Washington Listens: Call or text 833-681-0211.
Talk to someone directly about stress due to COVID-19.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center 
A selection of web pages and information sheets on mental health and coping with the effects of COVID-19.

National PTSD Resource Center 
Information and resources to support self-care, as well as strategies that can help with the stress, grief and anxiety that many people are feeling.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress 
Fact sheets and other resources to support the health and well-being of communities impacted by COVID-19.

American Psychoanalytic Association 
Includes information for parents and guardians.

SAMHSA Virtual Recovery Resource Guide 
A list of resources that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental/substance use disorders.

Washington Recovery Helpline: 866-789-1511
Offers local treatment resources for substance abuse, problem gambling and mental health, as well as to other community services.

Shatterproof 
Helps those struggling with addiction find the treatment they need.

Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255, press “1”
Reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs 
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs helps connect veterans and their family members to the benefits and services they earned through their military service.

US Department of Veteran Affairs 
A comprehensive resource for maintaining and enhancing your mental health and well-being during the pandemic.

VA Mobile Apps 
Self-support at any time, anywhere. Apps address COVID-19, PTSD and other issues.