How to Maintain Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is upending life as we know it, including our routines, relationships and overall sense of well-being, and many people are struggling with the stress and anxiety these changes have caused.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone; this is a global issue, and the feelings you are experiencing are normal and shared by many others. As important as it is to recognize stress and anxiety, it’s also imperative to manage these feelings and actively work toward taking care of your mental health.

Research suggests long-term stress can have a negative impact on the brain. When chronic stress causes our brains to remain in a fight or flight state, we can experience a host of negative effects on both our brains and bodies. In fact, research suggests continuous stress can result in structural changes in the brain and loss of brain mass. More specifically it can cause1:

  • Long-term effects on the nervous system impairing cognitive function, memory and learning
  • Increased susceptibility to illness and disease as the immune system (via the nervous and neuroendocrine systems) is compromised
  • Negative effects on the cardiovascular system such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and risk of heart disease
  • Negative effects on appetite and gastrointestinal functions, including increased risk of GI inflammatory diseases

How do I actively manage my mental health?

There are many different ways to cope with stress and manage your mental health, with varying needs for different individuals. For example, those who already suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or other brain diseases requiring more support, may need to proactively protect their brain health. Below are resources to help you maintain your mental health and brain health during this challenging time.

Tips for maintaining everyday mental health:

Additional COVID-19 Mental Health Resources:

For immediate assistance:

If you have taken steps to end your life, call 911 immediately.

Please access the services below if you are having suicide ideation:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline ‘s√Ñ√¨ 1-800-273-8255
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline ‘s√Ñ√¨ (800) 656-HOPE
  • National Center for PTSD ‘s√Ñ√¨ Veterans Crisis Line ‘s√Ñ√¨ (800) 273-8255
  • Women’s Veterans Call Center ‘s√Ñ√¨ 1-855-VA-Women
  • Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA) – Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Resources for Families and Children:

Resources for Veterans:

Resources for those living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or mental illnesses:

Resources for healthcare workers, first responders and caregivers:

For those experiencing loss and grief:

Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity research organization and does not offer medical advice. CVB encourages you to seek medical advice from a physician or healthcare provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition, or to call 911 or go to the nearest hospital if you find that you or someone you are concerned about is in an emergency situation.


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