Guidance for handling stress, anxiety during hardship

April 14, 2020

Social Distancing Can Impact Mental Health

It’s a fact, the Coronavirus is affecting each of us in one way or another. Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster recognizes that affect may be different for each person. It may be physically, mentally, financially, or some other impact that is resulting from social distancing and drastic change in one’s daily routine.

To help people cope during these difficult times, Catholic Charities is continuing to provide services and remains committed to its mission to provide help and create hope for those in need of assistance.

Catholic Charities CEO, Dr. Dean Scher, a clinical psychologist, and Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), reminds people that experiencing fear and anxiety during this unprecedented time is normal, but it’s important to manage the stress so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.

“Coping with fear of Coronavirus, the related isolation, change of routine, and other challenges that have resulted during these unusual times, has been stressful for people of all ages and walks of life,” said Dr. Scher. “Taking proactive steps to manage that stress will make each of us, and our community, stronger and healthier. Practicing self-care is key to maintaining both our physical and our mental health,” added Dr. Scher.

Dr. Scher offers some tips for managing stress to alleviate fear and anxiety, during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Catholic Charities is open and continues to provide programs and services to those who are struggling to manage their stress and other-related issues during this difficult time. Program adjustments have been made to promote responsible social distancing and protect the health and well-being of both employees and clients.

Addiction treatment and recovery services, including medication-assisted treatment, are available at Catholic Charities in Orange and Sullivan Counties. New admissions, counseling sessions, and group therapy are being made available via telephone and tele-health practices.

Catholic Charities Case Management Services remain available to help those in need of emergency food and shelter assistance, and other social safety net support. Requests for assistance should be initiated with a phone call to one’s closest Catholic Charities’ Case Management office, listing available at or by emailing

Catholic Charities Food Pantry, located at its Ulster Community Center at 6 Adams Street, Kingston, remains open for pantry hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm. The Pantry phone number is 845-340-9170.

“No matter your personal situation, these are difficult times for everyone,” said Dr. Scher. “But if we make an effort to care for ourselves, be kind and supportive to others, and promote an environment of dignity and respect, we will get through this together – and be stronger for it.”

Catholic Charities provides assistance to those in need, regardless of religion or ability to pay.


[This article written by Dean Scher, PhD, LCSW, CEO of Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster is used with his permission.]

Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster, as one of the human service agencies of Catholic Charities of The Archdiocese of New York, is committed to building a compassionate and just society. Catholic Charities serves the homeless, the hungry, the emotionally and physically handicapped, as well as immigrants, and the marginalized and vulnerable of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties. Catholic Charities collaborates with parishes, Catholic, and non-Catholic partners alike to help people of all religions who are in need. For more information or to make a donation online, visit

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