Helping Others and Helping Ourselves to Stay Healthy and Cope with COVID-19: What the Professionals are Saying

Helping Others and Helping Ourselves to Stay Healthy and Cope with COVID-19: What the Professionals are Saying

In her blog post of April 06, 2020, COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders, Dr. Nora Volkow alerts us to the fact that COVID-19 may affect populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) more severely than other populations. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks the lungs and could cause more serious illness in those who smoke tobacco products, marijuana or use vaping products. Those with Opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder may be at risk because of the effects of those drugs on respiratory and pulmonary systems. Homelessness or incarceration also are likely to create challenging situations for containing the virus. Co-occurring conditions such as heart disease, COPD, and other respiratory diseases have been shown to have higher fatality rates. In addition to the risks created by health conditions, living conditions and reduced access to healthcare experienced by many people with addictive disorders complicate treatment and recovery, particularly for those whose treatment includes medications for addiction.Those with SUDs are not alone in facing challenges at this time. For those with mental health disorders the increased stress makes coping difficult. Those with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with treatment and may face challenges of their own in maintaining connections while practicing social distancing. While many of the following resources are for behavioral health providers and their clients, this is a time when everyone will want to practice prevention of mental health and substance use disorders, improve and expand strategies for coping, build new skills and strengths, and find peace. The following resources build on some CASAT OnDemand early blogs for stress prevention and maintenance and links are provided for those as well.

An Idea Bank for Coping With COVID-19 by University of Montana (UM) Professors John and Rita Sommers-Flannagan on the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education:

CASAT OnDemand Stress Prevention & Management Blog Posts

The following posts contain great information for every day and holidays and links for even more information:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Resources:

Nevada’s Prevention Coalition Resources

Nevada’s prevention coalitions are your local connection to healthy community resources. Check out the one in your area:

CARE Coalition
Churchill Community Coalition
Frontier Community Coalition
Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon & Storey County
Join Together Northern Nevada Washoe County Coalition
Nevada Communities Prevention Coalition
Nye Communities Coalition
Partners Allied for Community Excellence Coalition
Partnership Carson City
Partnership of Community Resources Coalition

A sample of the resources and events available at many of Nevada’s coalitions include:

Coping Techniques During Uncertainty – Join CARE Coalition for a 5-week series that helps connect leadership teams from a variety of organizations. This series is meant to lift each other up, identify healthy coping techniques, and help to assist our communities during this uncertain time. Featuring Kelly Swan, CEO of RENEW Therapeutic Enhancement Services.

  • April 23, Week 1: Mindfulness and Paced Breathing
  • April 30, Week 2: Meditations for Daily Life
  • May 7, Week 3: Coping with Stress and Uncertainty
  • May 14, Week 4: Preventing Substance Abuse
  • May 20, Week 5: Creating Balance and Joy

COVID-19 Activities and Support – Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and various safety precautions, Join Together Northern Nevada wants to share fun, calming, and interactive activities to do with your family at home! Visit the JTNN website for an amazing array of free resources for parents, kids, caregivers, and anyone living in Washoe County Nevada.

Nevada Health Response: COVID-19 “Prepare, Don’t Panic” – To inform Nevadans statewide, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Governor’s Office have created this website to better share information and resources as it pertains to the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact within the state of Nevada.

Technology Transfer Center (TTC) Training & Resources

COVID-19 Updates

SAMHSA recognizes the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 situation and is providing guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states across the country. SAMHSA stands ready to assist in any manner possible.

Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network’s Resources:

Other Federal Resources

SAMHSA Resources Relating to Infectious Disease, Social Distancing, and Quarantine Materials

Northwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC):

The ATTC Network has compiled a great page of resources about providing telehealth services. You can find their ongoing learning series, “Telehealth Learning and Consultation Tuesdays,” tips for using videoconferencing, information about regulations and privacy issues, best practices, and more, all from a range of experts and professional organizations.

This weekly series from the ATTC and the PTTC is focused on emerging issues around COVID-19 and social determinants of health for the substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery workforces. The series kicks off tomorrow, April 22 (2pm ET) with a listening session on how COVID-19 is deferentially impacting substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery in communities of color and/or underserved communities. Strategic discussion sessions will follow Tuesdays through May 12.

Find a collection of webinars and other resources that can be useful when coping with the effects of a widespread public health crisis like COVID-19. Includes strategies of support for mental health providers, building psychological resilience, trauma-informed and resilience-oriented leadership, and more.

  • Fundamentals of Telemental Health – Join the Northwest ATTC starting May 12 for a weekly series about telemental health services. Presented by Sara Smucker Barnwell, PhD, the series will feature 6 weekly 2-hour webinars (5-7pm every Tuesday):
  • May 12: Introduction to Telemental Health
  • May 19: Preparing Your Office for Telemental Health
  • May 26: Client Selection, Intake, and Assessment in Telemental Health
  • June 2: Clinical Engagement in Telemental Health
  • June 9: Emergencies, Disruptions, and Pitfalls in Telemental Health
  • June 16: Risk Management in Telemental Health

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Resources


CASAT Training Resources

Upcoming Trainings from CASAT Training:

May 1, 2020 – Confidentiality and HIPAA and 42 CFR Update for Nevada Providers Webinar

May 12, 2020 – Lying and Running Stop Signs: Addressing Stigma and Overwork in our Workplaces Webinar

May 29, 2020 – Motivational Interviewing Changing the Conversation: Peers & Community Health Workers (CHW) on the Frontlines Webinar

What favorite resources or links can you add to the comments below to share with others?

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