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COVID-19 and Your Mental Health and Well-being

Stress and anxiety related to the novel coronavirus is normal. The fear of the unknown can at times feel overwhelming. During this trying time, taking care of your mental health is essential. See below for resources, information, tips and strategies on how to best manage stress and anxiety in this turbulent time.


  • Counseling and Psychological Services: Students in need of services, call 864-656-2451 during business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) to access care. A brief phone screen will be conducted to determine the best way to serve your needs. If you are currently receiving services, reply promptly to the secure message from your counselor.


    Our overnight and over-the-weekend emergency phone-support service remains available by calling the Clemson University Police Department at 864-656-2222 and asking to speak with the CAPS counselor on call.

     

    At this time, CAPS providers are bound by licensing laws to provide services, including remote services, in the state in which they are licensed. Therefore, students located outside South Carolina will be assisted with accessing care in their communities.

    • Therapy Assistance Online (available to students, faculty and staff): Any person with a Clemson.edu email address has access to CAPS' online program called Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). There are nine online treatments with multiple modules from which you can select to best address your concerns. If you have questions about utilizing this service, please contact CAPS at 864-656-2451.

    • TAO Mindfulness Exercises (available to everyone): In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are struggling with worry and anxiety. To help everyone cope, TAO has made mindfulness exercises available to those in need through this difficult time.

  • Wellness Wednesdays (available to students, faculty and staff)Any Tiger is invited to participate in Healthy Campus’ new well-being series! Each Wednesday from 10-10:30 a.m., come learn about various ways to enhance your wellness during COVID-19. Email Kristi Bussell (kbussel@clemson.edu) for Zoom information.
  • Greenville CRISISline – 864-271-8888: CRISISline is a 24-hour, 7-day a week confidential hotline offering a nonjudgmental sounding board for people to talk about life's struggles. Trained phone workers are available to offer a listening ear and to provide community resources and crisis intervention.

  • Crisis Textline – Text “tigers” to 741-741: The Crisis Textline is open to anyone in need of support. You will receive access to a trained, anonymous, free crisis counselor.

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255): No matter what problems you are dealing with, COVID-19 related or otherwise, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area anytime, 24-hours, 7-days a week.

Naming what you’re experiencing is one of the first steps to mental health and well-being. Take a look at this article to better understand what many of us are likely feeling during this turbulent time: Harvard Business Review – That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief


When dealing with unexpected and stressful events, it is not uncommon to have signs of distress that seem outside of how we normally cope.


First start with recognizing what you are experiencing.


Signs of Distress:

  • Excessive fear and worry

  • Prolonged sadness or irritability

  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits

  • Significant loneliness

  • Struggles to concentrate

  • Risky or impulsive behavior

  • Confused thinking

  • Thoughts of harming yourself or someone else

  • Strong mood swings

  • Hopelessness

  • Using substances to deal with feelings

It's important to note that we are not helpless in light of current news events. We can always choose our response. If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.


Tips adapted from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

  • Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news (Do you really need to know what is happening on a cruise ship you aren’t on?).
  • Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it's important not to compare yourself to others. Social distancing is strongly recommended, but make sure you are staying connected with others even if it just by phone or FaceTime.
  • Get outside in nature – even if you are avoiding crowds. Take a walk. Get out in the sunshine. It is important to get some fresh air. Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.
  • Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control. For more information about mindfulness, visit our Koru Mindfulness program and consider enrolling in our online version.
  • Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry, and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.

Try practicing mindfulness. There are great apps to try on your own. If you want a more personal experience, Healthy Campus offers Koru Mindfulness training online for employees and students. Yoga is also a great combination of meditation and movement. See the links below for more information.

 

Mindfulness

 

Exercise

 

Aesthetic Relief