Director of Development & Communications
A Message From Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services On Mental Health During the Global Health Crisis
March 19, 2020
Culver City, CA — The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic has caused a public health crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in 100 years.
Widespread cancellations of sporting events, concerts and other festivities—outings that bring joy to many — can cause disappointment and stress. The lost opportunities to socialize, along with recommendations on social distancing, may exacerbate feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression in those who already live with mental health conditions.
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading nonprofit organization which has provided free mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services for over 75 years, and is the home of the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center, offers these suggestions for staying calm and healthy during the current crisis:
- Rely on trusted primary sources for news. These would include the S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health;
- Consider limiting your exposure to news to a few times per day. Avoid watching or listening to reports about the crisis right before bedtime;
- Stay in touch with friends, neighbors and loved ones by phone, text or email;
- Make the most of family time, whether walking the family dog, doing a jigsaw puzzle or cooking together;
- Consult with a trusted financial advisor before making any drastic decisions about finances;
- Follow CDC guidelines on handwashing and other hygiene matters. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Read a novel you’ve set aside or renew a hobby or fun activity. Go for a walk or a hike.
- If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
During this time, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has mobilized all the technology needed for its staff to stay in touch with clients through telemedicine and teletherapy, and also has limited staff at each of its sites for current clients in crisis who urgently need in-person care.
ABOUT DIDI HIRSCH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES:Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services provides mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services from 10 outpatient and residential treatment centers in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Our therapists also work with thousands of children and adults in homes, community centers and more than 100 schools, mainly in areas where poverty or the stigma of mental illness limits access to care. Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center, founded in 1958, is the nation’s first, and has become a global resource for healing and hope. It provides crisis counseling for people contemplating suicide and for their friends and relatives; training and education for first responders, medical professionals, psychologists and social workers; and therapy and support groups for people who have survived an attempt or are bereaved by a loss. In 2019, its 24/7 multilingual crisis line answered more than 130,000 calls, chats and texts nationwide. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.