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Ohio creates care line to help people dealing with stress during pandemic

Left Alone mental health graphic
Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 16:24:49-04

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictive Services created a toll-free COVID-19 careline to provide emotional support.

“Coronavirus has undoubtedly affected how Ohioans are living their lives,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotional reactions in adults and children. Reaching out for help to cope with that stress will make you, the people you care about, and Ohio stronger.”

Common signs of stress during an infectious disease outbreak include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Worsening of mental health conditions.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Difficulty coping with changes in daily routines.
  • Feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Financial worries.

“It is completely natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster,” said Ohio MHAS Director Lori Criss. “Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and respond in ways that help you and your family remain healthy now and in the future. Our hope is that the careline will help thousands of Ohioans connect with resources and services they need to create wellness in these uncertain times.”

You can reach the careline by calling 1-800-720-9616 24 hours a day.

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