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Walkers enjoy the morning with a walk at Sorosis Park in The Dalles Thursday, March 26. Keeping your routines as much as you can, and taking frequent breaks, help maintain your mental health during crisis. 

With the amount of panic and uncertainty circulating right now, it’s important for us to take care of our mental health, as well as our physical. Here are some tips from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) on easing some of the anxiety stemming from the pandemic.

Avoid watching, reading or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed: A near-constant stream of news reports can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Instead, seek updates from a couple of trusted sources at specific times during the day.

  • Maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible: Take breaks during the work day (especially if you’re working from home), eat healthy food and engage in physical activity. 
  • Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks: Have the emails and phone numbers of close friends and family on-hand and stay connected via email, social media, video conference and telephone.
  • Take control and incorporate practical preventative measures, such as hand washing and social distancing.
  • Be supportive to others: Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.

Professional help is still available, even if you’re practicing social distancing:

  • Therapy: Therapy in the Gorge, accessible online at www.therapyinthegorge.com, is a list of professional therapists in private practice in the Columbia River Gorge. The site sorts practices by location or insurance provider; some therapists offer phone or video appointments, so ask about that option when you reach out.
  • Online support groups: NAMI hosts free online communities and discussion groups at www.nami.org, and www.supportgroupscentral.com offers virtual support groups for a wide variety of topics.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call at 1-800-273-8255 or check out the resources on their website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
  • Mid-Columbia Center for Living: Call 1-888-877-9147 for 24/7 crisis support. Visit www.mccfl.org/services/mental-health/crisis/ for more info.
  • Oregon YouthLine: Teens are available to help from 4-10 p.m., adults are available by phone all other times. Visit oregonyouthline.org for more info.
  • Crisis Text Line: A free, 24/7 text-support line that connects texters in the U.S. and Canada to trained crisis counselors. Text HOME to 741741 or visit www.crisistextline.org/ to learn more.
  • Trevor Project: A support network for LGBTQ youth. Call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386; resources are available on the website, www.thetrevorproject.org.

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