PSD and community services
While schools are closed during the COVID-19 health crisis, PSD’s mental health team continues to support students and families in collaboration with building counselors and other building staff. Mental health specialists for your student can be accessed through your school counselor or administration team.
Build resiliency, sense of normalcy with routine and daily schedules
PSD Employee Assistance Services, PSD mental health team and PSD wellness offer these suggestions to assist you while at home.
- Maintain a morning routine, including getting dressed, eating a balanced breakfast, brushing your teeth and maintaining hygiene. Studies suggest that getting dressed not only helps you feel better but perform better.
- Create a “workstation.” This allows for a mental boundary between working, studying and relaxing. This is also a signal to family and roommates that you are working. Check out these tips on creating an ergonomic workstation.
- Set “work” blocks, or chunks of time, that are dedicated to a specific project, class or office hours.
- Schedule time for positive habits, such as exercising, getting outside, play, unstructured time, reading, alone time and family time.
- Take regular breaks.
- Maintain an evening routine. Developing a sleep routine for kids (and adults) is vital: Take a bath, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, hug and kiss goodnight, lights out, go to sleep. Design or use a visual, like this one, so young kids know what’s expected.
- Build in a relaxation practice: Whether it is mindfulness, journaling, before bed stretching, or listening to music, a consistent relaxation practice is a signal to the body and brain that it is time to rest. This can aid in not only the ability to fall asleep faster, but also the quality of NREM and REM sleep throughout the night.
- Avoid screens at least 1 hour before bed: Studies suggest screens (iPads, phones, computers, tv’s) delay the release of melatonin, our body's hormonal sleep signal.
- Take a hot bath or shower: Showering before bed can improve sleep by changing our body’s core temperature and providing relaxation for the mind.
Self-care is more essential than ever (and it has always been crucial). We tend to place our self-care at the bottom of the to-do list. It is not selfish to practice self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone, so choose something daily that works for you.
Finally, ask for help if you are having a tough time and remember you are not alone.
Community mental health services
Facilities may be closed but services are available. People are encouraged to call or use online resources. If there is an immediate threat to your child or others, please call 911.
- SummitStone Community Crisis Center, 1217 Riverside Ave.,Fort Collins. Staff are available 24/7 at 970-494-4200 for crisis concerns, including suicide assessments or text TALK to 38255 to receive mental health crisis support. The facility remains open for Behavioral Health Urgent Care, Mobile Response and Crisis Stabilization Unit services. SummitStone is still open for walk-ins but prefer people call first.
- CAYAC (Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Connections), 425 Mulberry St. Suite 112, 970-221-3308. CAYAC is committed to serving children, youth and families to help identify areas of concern and guide youth and their families to appropriate options, including support, further assessment, counseling or other treatment. CAYAC also offers support and hope from people who understand what families are going through. During the COVID-19 pandemic, assessment and brief therapy services are offered over the phone and via telehealth. CAYAC is able to provide brief psychiatric services.
- Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-TALK (8255) - Colorado’s statewide resource for mental health and emotional crisis help, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a years. Wellness and recovery apps are available.
- Safe2Tell: 1-877-542-7233 - Submit an anonymous report to help someone who is hurting or in need.
- National Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
Other mental health tips
- “Social Distancing” is really intended to be “Physical Distancing.” Stay connected to family, friends and co-workers during this time through phone calls, texts, email or FaceTime (video chat).
- Limit exposure to social media and the news. Replace screens with other activities, such as hobbies, art, music, board and card games, reading for pleasure, cooking new recipes, etc.
- Focusing on gratitude has been shown to help relationships, mental health, sleep and physical health. Finding things and people to be grateful for each day builds a positive mindset.
- Journaling can provide a written expression of stressful thoughts and feelings and “gives voice” to underlying unspoken experiences. Writing can be a literal release, an opportunity to “speak my truth” and a means of bringing calm and clarity.
- Practice KINDNESS and listen to stories about the kindnesses of others.
- Offer grace to others and yourself. No one is an expert on dealing with these unusual times. Extending compassion and understanding helps.