Mental health assistance is available

FLINT — The fear and cost of the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent stay at home orders are likely to cause anxiety and stress for everyone.

The uncertainty of the situation, financial and job losses, isolation, and the illness itself coupled with worry and possible human loss can put a strain on our mental health. These are particularly difficult times for those who have an existing mental health diagnosis.

Genesee Health System (GHS) would like to remind people that it is important to take of yourself and your loved ones.

GHS is open and providing services along with its strong network of providers. A Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 810-257-3740 (or toll-free 877-346- 3648). For those who wish to text, you may text FLINT to 741741. Either way, you will be connected to a trained counselor who can provide support.

GHS is encouraging individuals to call for help whenever it is needed, and if possible, stay out of already overwhelmed and busy emergency rooms. We are here to help.

Here are several suggestions to help with the stress of these times (adapted from the CDC):

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Get your information through reliable sources such as the CDC, SAMHSA, and your state and local health departments. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

• Take care of your body.

• Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.

• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

• Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.

• Avoid alcohol and drug use.

• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

• Connect with others.

Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Reach out during these times to loved ones. Call our Crisis Line when it becomes overwhelming. Help is available, and GHS is here to help. — G.G.