Mental Health & Wellness Resources for COVID-19

The following information is provided by the TU Counseling Center.

Coronavirus Updates

View all news and updates from Towson University about coronavirus.

With the recent news about the spread of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), we are aware of the potential impact on many in our community at TU.  Understandably, stress and anxiety can arise in the midst of uncertainty or fears about your health, or a loved one’s health. Some students may feel stigmatized or experience racist and/or xenophobic remarks by those fearful of contracting the virus. We want to acknowledge the harm these developments may have caused on our campus and students.

Please consider reaching out to the Counseling Center if you (or another student you know) are experiencing any of the following:

  • Excessive worry, fear, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Persistent sadness, tearfulness, and/or loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or paralyzing fear about the future
  • Unexplained physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach, increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue, etc.
  • Increased anger, irritability, agitation and/or disruptive behaviors
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Significant changes in sleep, appetite and/or self-care.
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g. increased substance abuse, engaging in risky/impulsive behavior, etc.)

Additional Information & Coping tips

Tips for Managing Emotional/Psychological Distress

Acknowledge your feelings and emotions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties of the future.

Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and routines. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social connections can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable opportunities for sharing your feelings and relieving stress.

Seek accurate information from credible news sources. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, for example, have webpages dedicated to providing factual information on the novel coronavirus. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies such as the Maryland Department of Health.

Limit exposure to fear-based media by choosing 1-2 trusted news outlets that do not provide any new information and/or sensationalizes the facts. Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.

Follow protection and prevention tips provided by qualified medical professionals, including from TU Health Center.

Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when other parts of your life feel out of control.

Seek out and utilize on-campus resources. Reach out to friends and family, talk to an RA, a campus ministry, a professor, a staff member. Consider coming in to the Counseling Center to speak with a professional counselor if your distress does not seem to be lessening. We are here to help!

Grief and COVID-19 

Grief is defined as the anguish experienced after significant loss, usually the death of a beloved person. Grief often includes feelings of intense sadness, guilt, shock, confusion, anger, regret, and loneliness. Other symptoms of grief include insomnia, poor appetite, ruminating about the loss, and potential weight loss. The grief process, including the symptoms and concept of grief, is not the same for everyone and may be influenced by culture.

In addition to the death of a loved person, other significant losses can also yield grief.  Some examples of these other losses include the loss of a job, a home, a pet, a marriage (i.e. divorce), mobility, and time. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a series of losses, including the death of loved ones, our sense of safety, social connections, and even our financial security. College students in particular may feel grief over the loss of their ability to participate in special events such as graduation and the loss of time that was meant for other events. The COVID-19 pandemic may also be impacting the time and energy we have to grieve as well as the circumstances and context for the losses we have experienced, as many people are not able to be with their loved ones who are sick. 

Debunking Myths about grief 

  1. Not all loss will result in grief. 
  2. Not all grief will be given public expression.
  3. There is no time limit for grief.
  4. You can grieve for as long as you need.
  5. There is no one correct way to grieve; grieving is different for everyone and may be influenced by culture. 
Tips for Managing Grief
  1. Alternate between "loss" and "restorative" activities. This idea comes from the dual-process approach to grief which says that people move between loss-related activities (e.g., looking at photos, crying, talking about the person) and restorative exercises (e.g., making plans for the future, spending time on hobbies, working/studying).
  2. Talking to friends, family members, and counselors about the loss.
  3. Writing in a journal about the loss.
  4. Taking the time to comfort yourself:
    • Allowing yourself time to be sad
    • Taking a hot or cold shower
    • Eating a meal that is comforting to you.
    • Allowing yourself time to rest
  5. Taking time to share and remember the positive memories about the person or other form of loss.
  6. Finding ways to say goodbye if the loss was unexpected (pray; write a letter to the deceased).
  7. Grief is viewed by many to be a normal reaction after a loss. Therefore, accepting our feelings and giving ourselves permission to experience them, as opposed to suppressing them, appears to be a healthy option.

Additional online resources: 

Resources for College Students Quarantining in Unsupportive Environments

This information comes from the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida and Wells Healing and Research Collective.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, college students all over the nation have experienced sudden changes and disruptions to their living environments. Campuses have closed and many students have returned home. However, families and homes are not always safe havens of love, warmth, and acceptance. We want to acknowledge the challenges students in unsupportive environments face, and have included some tips below on how to cope with these hardships.

  1. Acknowledge and accept that the environment is not supportive.
  2. Seek out safe spaces. 
  3. Seek out allies in the home or elsewhere to support you.
  4. Set boundaries.
  5. Practice self-care.

We would also like to acknowledge the challenges present for particular groups of students who may be more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine. 

Folks with disabilities

  • Get in touch with the Disability Resource Center at your college/university and look into additional support.
  • Take regular breaks from various news cycles.
    Watching the news at this time can be quite upsetting as we notice the vicious impact of ableism and ageism during the pandemic. If possible, turn off the TV and/or tune into affirming media and spaces.
  • Panic buying might limit resources that are needed for folks with certain disabilities. If possible, contact your GP to ask for suitable alternatives.
  • If you are a person with disabilities with unmet needs, please check out the resource list linked at the end of this drop-down for support funds and further resources.

Housing/food insecurity 

  • The Edquity app can deliver emergency financial support in as little as 48 hours.
  • If you are concerned about loss of internet access, Comcast is offering free, high-speed internet through the internet essentials program.
  • Check mutual aid programs on Facebook
  • Some food pantries and banks are preparing bags of food and leaving them outside for students. Check the list linked at the end for more information about food banks near you. Some students who are losing their jobs and income may become eligible for SNAP.

LGBTQ+ in non-affirming environments

  • Know (and use) your resources.
  • In the resource list, you can find coming out guides, pronoun-use guides, resources for parents and family members of LGBTQ+ kids, etc!
  • Stay connected to queer friends and allies. Make the internet your friend
  • Don't overdo negative social media and make good use of affirming spaces, such as Trevor space, online communities, queer Tiktok, live streaming performances, workshops, etc.
  • Reach Out to LGBTQ+ Support Organizations for Help
  • Check out: COVID-19 LGBTQ COMMUNITY RESOURCES & SUPPORT, and many others in the resource list below!

For additional resources, please see the Unsupportive Environments Resource List.

Resources for Supporting Activists & Protesters 

Stay Active with TUCC Online 

To help you navigate during this time, we are offering virtual resources on our social media accounts and website to help manage anxiety & distress and to promote self-care. Check back for updates on upcoming virtual programs. 

  • Mindful Mondays: Short videos teaching mindfulness skills and brief meditations to help manage anxiety in times of uncertainty will be posted every Monday at 1PM on our social media linked below.
  • Wellness Wednesdays: Short videos exploring a variety of self-care strategies such as remaining connected, managing distance learning, living at home, and more will be posted every Wednesday at 1PM on our social media linked below.

Social Media Accounts

Peer Education Online


ATOD Peer education

Substance use education goes virtual: Check out the ATOD Prevention Center Instagram for tips, info, and resources on coping skills and substance use, including videos, Q&A’s, and more. Want to win some prizes? Follow their social media campaigns for multiple chances to win t-shirts and other giveaways.

Diverse minds peer education

Mental health issues are social justice issues! Follow the Diverse Minds Peer Educators on Instagram where we continue to post educational resources on the intersection of cultural diversity and mental health, tips for coping with various forms of –isms and oppressions, as well as strategies that promote wellness and healing.  

Healthy minds peer education

To be healthy as a whole, mental wellness plays a role! Follow Healthy Minds Peer Educators on Instagram, where we continue to post information and resources on mental health and wellness, as well as educational materials on the intersection of current events and its impact on mental health.

Body Image Peer Education 

Follow the Body Image Peer Educators on Instagram for posts that will help you consume more positive social media content including tips about improving body image, learning how to be gentle with yourself during this difficult time, and GAMES!

Additional resources 

Crisis Resources 

If someones safety is at risk, or it someone might need emergency medical care, please DIAL 911. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255) 
  • Baltimore County Crisis Response: 410-931-2214
  • Baltimore City Crisis Response: 410-433-5175

GRASSROOTS CRISIS INTERVENTION TELEPHONE HOTLINE

A telephone counseling service that uses volunteer and peer counselors, funded by Baltimore County. 

Phone: 410-531-6677

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

A 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis.  

Phone: 800-273-TALK (8255)

TURNAROUND

A private nonprofit organization dedicated to serving victims of rape, child sexual assault, domestic violence, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse.  

Phone: 443-279-0379

VIOLENCE HOTLINE CENTER, INC.

The 24/7 service is free and they are able to connect you with local resources.  

Phone: 1-800-799-7233

If you use any of the above services, we urge you to call the Counseling Center 410-704-2512 the next time we are open so that we can follow-up with you and assist you further.

 

Mutual Trust, Respect and Civility

Fear and anxiety can lead to mistrust, bias, prejudice, and discrimination, which we are committed to proactively combating. In an effort to avoid stigmatizing and promote mutual trust and respect within our community, we urge you to practice the following:

  • Be mindful of your behavior, thoughts, beliefs, and or biases about others from another country
  • Avoid generalizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the coronavirus
  • Be cautious about the images that are shared. Make sure they do not reinforce stereotypes
  • Examine any irrational or rigid thoughts that can exist when there is uncertainty
  • Practice and seek health care if you believe you are sick
  • Listen and attend to each other with empathy, kindness, and compassion