Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to responding to COVID-19. Oklahomans are resilient and we at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services are here for you during this time of uncertainty.
Common reactions during this time
- Worry, anxiety, panic, fear of unknown
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
- Change in sleeping or eating routines
- Feeling helpless, confused, angry
- Feelings of loss or grief
- Financial concerns and fears
- Fears around your health or the health of your loved ones
- Feeling of being “on edge” - irritable, cranky, short with people
- Feelings of being low - hopeless, sad, apathetic
- Feelings of being detached
- Existential stress - thoughts and feelings related to “what is the point of my life,” etc
There are ways to maintain your own mental health and support those around you, including:
- Recognize that fear and uncertainty are normal.
- Find reputable sources to check in with as necessary.
- Focus on taking small steps to prepare and educate yourself.
- Recognize what is in your control (hand washing, practicing good hygiene, social distancing, exercising, communicating with friends and family).
- Try practicing mindfulness.
- Access virtual recovery services, groups and message boards if needed.
- Stay connected by Facetiming, calling, texting, etc. Social distancing doesn’t mean cutting off communication!
- Get involved in your community by helping those in need.
Below are helpful links to keep you and your family aware of any updates related to COVID-19 in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma COVID-19 Call Center: 877-215-8336
The Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
SAMHSA Disaster Response Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
Text/SMS: Text "TalkWithUs" or "Hablanos" (for Spanish) to 66746
Trevor Text: Text "START" to 678678
This page will be updated with more resources as needed. Please check back frequently.
Mental Health Resources
You or someone in your family may need access to more robust mental health resources, especially during this time.
All ODMHSAS facilities are still operating and implementing additional steps to help promote the health and safety of employees and patients. We are continuing to take precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are able to assist you should you need services.
Whether you need services for yourself or a loved one, there are mental health and addiction services near you.
Taking care of children, yourself and/or your spouse during this pandemic will be challenging. Here is a curated list of resources, guides and webinars to assist parents and caregivers with children at home.
There may be questions and anxieties about how to support children with their education, as well as stress and uncertainty about school closures. Here you’ll find guidance for schools and childcare providers, as well as at-home education opportunities.
Practicing social distancing may cause anxiety, stress and loneliness. Now more than ever, you have to take care of your mental health. We have created a list of coping mechanisms, wellness apps and additional resources to help teens, young adults and adults.
In times of unease it is still important to practice self care and to identify ways to proactively take care of your mental well-being. We have created a list of coping mechanisms, wellness apps and additional resources to help adults.
As a mental health provider or community partner, you may have feelings of hopelessness and/or loss of control. You CAN still serve your clients and you CAN support your community. Webinars and guidance documents are available to help you help the people you serve.
Virtual Training Programs to Improve Resilience and Preventing Mental and Emotional Distress Responses
Note To Self: Take Care Of You
A self-care e-Learning developed by ODMHSAS to help teach effective coping skills and self-care practices for individuals of all ages.
Kognito: Calm Parents, Healthy Kids
An interactive role-play simulation that builds the skills of parents to be responsive to their 2- to 5-year-old child in a calm and loving way during a series of stressful everyday situations. This program builds the capacity of parents/caregivers to apply effective parenting techniques that help improve family relationships and reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Contact: Julie Geddes, JGeddes@odmhsas.org or (405) 248-9275
A game-based simulation for youth ages 13-18 that builds awareness, knowledge, and skills about mental health while reducing stigma. It prepares youth to recognize signs of distress, reach out to a friend they are concerned about, and help identify a trusted adult for support.
Contact: Julie Geddes, JGeddes@odmhsas.org or (405) 248-9275
An online training and interactive simulation that teaches participants 13 and older to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and connect them to help and support using a powerful four-step model. The model equips individuals with the skills to keep someone safe from suicide.
Contact: Kodi Pollard, JGeddes@odmhsas.org or (405) 248-9275
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training teaches participants about mental health and substance use disorder issues and provides participants with skills to assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. Participants will also learn risk factors and warning signs, strategies for how to help someone, and where to turn for help.
Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is designed to teach school personnel and parents a 5-step action plan to reach out to a youth experiencing a mental health crisis and connect them to community resources. YMHFA trains adults to recognize the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders; how to de-escalate crisis situations safely; and how to initiate timely referral to treatment resources. It is critical that school personnel understand the impact of stress, trauma, and depression on the adolescent and refer them for help as soon as possible. YMHFA training will improve staff confidence and competency in helping a youth who is experiencing a mental health crisis.
Contact: Elicia Berryhill, email@example.com or (405) 248-9272
Resilience in Times of Uncertainty
Resilience in Times of Uncertainty introduces adults to the protective factors that make one resilient and how resiliency skills improve workplace, health, and interpersonal wellbeing. Teaches recognition of thinking traps and the development of critical resilience skills to decrease anxiety and boost capacity in stressful situations.
Coronavirus Relief Funding Opportunities
Mental Health First Aid and Response Training
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. Utilizing $500,000 in CRF, the ODMHSAS will launch distance learning programs and related support resources for dissemination to first responders, faith-based institutions, schools and institutions of higher education, employers, health/behavioral healthcare providers, and parents/caregivers.
Mental Health Integration
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, primary care physicians, pediatricians, and school-based service providers continue to be “first-point-of-contact” individuals. Under normal daily circumstances, these providers encounter persons who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and situational stress. Because of the pandemic, a large number of Oklahomans are experiencing additional personal crises such as financial instability, isolation from support systems and loved ones, disruptions to daily routines, and extreme conditions of change which exacerbate existing behavioral health issues.
Utilizing $1 million in CRF, the ODMHSAS will distribute grants to support front-line healthcare workers with training on evidence-based screenings utilizing technology and to make more available consultation services for identifying behavioral health treatments or referrals. Each setting that fulfills requirements will receive a minimum of $15,000 for purposes of retaining or designating a behavioral health coordinator and the subsequent initial activities of the coordinator, to include but not limited to: developing a practice specific plan to identify and address behavioral health needs and establishing monitoring protocols associated with the plan. Awards will be capped at $75,000 per entity. Applications can be made through the Oklahoma Primary Healthcare Improvement Cooperative (OPHIC) and Tulsa Public Schools.