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LINCOLN –The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of life around the globe, including in-person recovery and counseling services. Mental health is essential to everyone's overall health and wellbeing, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. For those in recovery from a serious mental illness or a substance use disorder, the need for help during this pandemic can be magnified.
“It's important to recognize your emotions and own your feelings, work to find the positive even when facing adversity or loss, reach out and try to connect with others and create healthy routines to take care of yourself," said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “Recognizing your feelings, finding the routines that lift you up, and connecting with others can all help you on your path to recovery."
There are a number of practical online tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency, as recovery is an individual journey. A quick Google search will uncover online tools and apps for relaxation, mindfulness, videos of individuals in recovery, art that connects with your feelings and moods, support, and information about wellness and illness.
A great resource to start with is the Network of Care website. https://portal.networkofcare.org/Sites/Nebraska?state=nebraska In addition to a directory of services available in your area, this site offers a library of more than 30,000 high-quality articles, fact sheets and interactive tools written by leading experts and organizations in their fields. The Learning Center section includes consumer-friendly content and tools focused on health promotion, education, early intervention and prevention.
For those in recovery from a substance use disorder, social support is crucial since social isolation can be a risk factor for relapse. Although face-to-face interaction is a key feature of recovery support, virtual meetings can be an important resource during this pandemic. For those with internet access, sites such as https://www.shatterproof.org/blog/how-find-virtual-recovery-meeting can help you find online support. Other sober-living websites include Reach Out Recovery https://reachoutrecovery.com/stress-relief-advice-for-covid-19-from-the-experts/ and Recovery 2.0 https://r20.com/
If you are experiencing a crisis, there are also a number of hotlines that stand ready with immediate help. They include: