The resources you need to stay well.
During these difficult times, we must prioritize our mental health as well as our physical well-being.
As COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black men and women, we must do all we can to not only fight the virus, but to champion mental health for communities of color.
We should all be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health distress. With the right coping mechanisms, these feelings can be understood and managed. This page aims to introduce coping strategies, online resources, and contact information to help you and your loved ones manage emotional distress and maintain mental wellbeing.
Stay in or Seek out Therapy
The pandemic has caused many people to suffer in ways they had never experienced before. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. We are aware that access and affordability are injustices that impact if and how members of our community seek mental health care. University Counseling Service (UCS) offers a wide range of counseling and psychological services to assist currently enrolled students. We are working to expand those services to account for the increased need. Upon referral, psychiatric services are also available. Databases for external mental health care providers are listed in the Resources section of this page.
In addition to professional mental health care, mindfulness can be a valuable mental wellness tool. Certain practices can be particularly helpful as we all continue to adjust to our unusual schedules. Please see the Resources section below for app recommendations.
Don’t Rely on Drugs and Alcohol
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends avoiding reliance on drugs and alcohol for comfort. While the prospect of escape can be appealing, substance use can ultimately worsen your issues. There is a 20% overlap between people with anxiety or mood disorders and substance use disorders, and substances can exacerbate symptoms. If you feel you need a relaxation aid, you can instead turn to an accountability partner, mindfulness tactic, exercise, or other healthy coping mechanisms.
Set Realistic Expectations
The pandemic has caused many of us to enter a period of stasis, where we feel unmotivated to pursue certain tasks, opting instead to try and await a return to normalcy. While we shouldn’t set unrealistic expectations, neither should we remove any incentive to pursue our goals. This uncertainty is likely to cause anxiety, stress and depression, as well as feelings that we lost a year of life and productivity. Exercise can be a great outlet and an opportunity to pursue small, attainable goals for ourselves that we can accomplish from home.
University Counseling Service and Crisis Line
University Counseling Service (UCS) continues to provide clinical services.
Students can call (202)806-6870 or email HUCounseling@howard.edu to request an initial appointment. Same-day appointments are available when needed. The crisis line is open to all students (202)345-6709 from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and holidays.