COVID-19 MENTAL WELLNESS
First, we want to thank each of you for doing the great work that you do every day. It’s the times, just like the ones we are in today, that remind us of the important work that each of you do taking care of the citizens of Los Angeles. You respond to our citizens’ calls for help when they are in grave trouble and yes, even sometimes you assist them with smaller problems as well. You take great risks with your health and safety without giving it a second thought because you are firefighters and that’s the job. The current situation is no different, and yet it is. In this case there are a few unique features. First, we can be infected with COVID-19 and not know it. This can be the case for days, meaning we can infect each other without having any clue that we are doing so. Therefore, using PPE’s and following the Department’s safety policies and procedures are critically important during this time. This leads to the second difference. There is the possibility of bringing it home to our families. This can cause anxiety and stress for ourselves as well as our families at home. The third unique feature is that our lives are different now than before the virus. Schools are closed, kids are home and daily life has changed dramatically for many.
So, what can we do? Look at the tips below. See if any of these make sense for you and your family.
Please click HERE for additional information from Firestrong on COVID-19 Mental Wellness.
Please click HERE to read the DOC Message on Behavioral Health and Wellness.
Please click HERE to watch a recording of the UFLAC / LAFD Family Webinar.
IAFF LINKS FOR COVID-19 MENTAL WELLNESS
STRESS REDUCING TIPS:
Controlling your stress level: Limit watching and reading the news in an informed but not in an obsessive manner. Over information can be harmful especially if you have children. Remember they hear even when they pretend, they are not listening, and they watch you for cues on how they should be feeling.
- Add in stress reducing activities such as exercise, deep breathing and muscle relaxation practices, meditation, hot showers, coloring, keep a gratitude journal, etc.
- Focus on the things you can control. Wash your hands, trim your nails, get the best sleep you can and fuel your body well. Maintain as much of a routine and schedule to the day as you can. Adults thrive on consistency and boundaries just as much as the kids.
- Make the most of the present time. For many of us being told we can’t do something is a challenge to do exactly that. Take this “forced” time to slow down, play cards, reconnect with family and friends by having a phone/video conversation. Do things that make this a blessing and not a punishment. Be creative and think outside the box!
- Don’t make any significant or impulsive decisions. Everyone is under stress right now. Save the big decisions for when this subsides (and it will).
- Get your information only from approved sources. Do not get your information from social media.
- For the most up to date and reliable national scale information visit CDC.gov.
- HELP IS A CALL OR CLICK AWAY
Each of you and your family members have access to Behavioral Health assistance if needed. Talking can really help mitigate the impact of stress. You can reach out to Peer Support or our Professional Behavioral Health Staff at any time.