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:
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. Maintaining a routine is important.
- Practice meditation, self-reflection, or deep breathing, so you have time to relax and unwind your mind and body.
- Stay connected with people who are important to you. Catch up on phone calls, use video chat, or write a letter to maintain communication.
- Take a break from media coverage, including social media, to give yourself a respite from information overload.
- Spend time outdoors, if you can.
- Avoid self-medicating. (If you are struggling to maintain recovery, turn to your counselor, physician, or other support system for assistance.)
- Take time for activities you enjoy or use this opportunity to learn a new skill or activity.
- Find ways to help where you can.
- Be kind to yourself and others. Everyone is feeling the stress and anxiety right now.
- Follow the guidelines for curbing the spread of COVID-19. Stay home, if you must go out, wear a mask, maintain a responsible distance, wash your hands.
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.
- Goshen – 294-5888
- Middletown – 343-7675
- Monroe – 782-0295
- Monticello – 794-8080
- Newburgh – 562-8255
- Port Jervis – 856-6344
- Walden – 778-5628
- Monticello – 794-8080
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 www.cccsos.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.cccsos.org.