Health Promotions and Wellness
Every person may experience their own unique reaction to a stressful situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak. As the situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, we want to make sure you are aware of tips and free resources available to help you regarding self-care, finances, online learning, health, and emotional support during this uncertain time. We hope you find the information helpful. Additional resources will be added as they are identified. The information on this page should be considered informational only and not an endorsement of any one product or service.
What to Expect During This Time
Every person may experience their own unique reaction to a stressful situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak (helpful handout). As such, you may feel some combination of what is listed below.
People may feel:
- Anxiety, worry, or fear related to your own health status.
- Concern about effectively managing your life demands while choosing to isolate for your own safety and safety of others.
- Concern about friends and family back home, if home is in an area heavily affected by COVID-19.
- Stigmatized or singled-out, including if you are part of a group of people who may experience stigma related to COVID-19 (see Social Stigma section below).
- Anger and frustration about having your movements in the world confined to one space.
- Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to work or engage in regular day-to-day activities.
- Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation.
Not-as Typical Reactions (But Can Still Occur)
Some people have pre-existing emotional or psychological conditions that can be exacerbated by a high-stress event, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. This may include:
- A desire to use unhealthful coping behaviors that interfere with normal sleeping, eating, and self-care behaviors such as excessive late nights, over-eating, and excessive use of substances.
- Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, lethargy, isolation, or sleeping too little or too much
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving the event), nightmares, changes in thoughts and mood, and being easily startled
Ways to Support Yourself During Social Distancing and/or Self-Isolation
- Connect with others through means other than in person
- Maintain a routine and take care of your body
- Manage emotions
How to Support Someone who is Social Distancing
- Remain in some kind of virtual contact.
- Ask about how someone is doing and normalize feelings of anger, frustration, worry.
- Don't try to fix these feelings while also reminding them that you care about them and that this will pass.
- Remind them to engage in healthy routines such as regular sleep, healthy eating, and adding physical activity, and things that help them reduce stress in a healthy way.
- Utlize websites: Soul Pancake, Happify
- Watch this helpful TEDTalk (Why we all need to practice emotional first aid)
What to Expect after Time Spent in Self-Isolation
It can be normal to feel singled-out and worried about how others may view you when returning from a social distancing period. Here are tips on how to address this:
- Talk to others about your experience and how you are feeling
- Re-engage in your daily routine: go to class, exercise, study, reconnect with others, etc…
- Seek help if you feel distressed, anxious, depressed, and/or are having difficulty sleeping
Stress and Anxiety Reduction & Emotional Health
Virtual Support Group (hosted by VSU family therapy interns)
Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line (866-399-8938)
NAMI Moultrie Connections Support Group for Adults (18+)
Online groups are being held through May for those living in recovery with a mental health condition. Interested individuals should contact Todd Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org. Group meets Mondays at 6:00 PM.
Self-Care and Coping
Online Resource through Active Minds
COVID-19 related closures have sent many of us to our home offices, kitchen counters, and dining tables for remote study or work — or none at all. For many, having to unexpectedly leave or disengage with our community – even if just for a short time – can be stressful. For others, this pandemic may be exacerbating symptoms of anxiety or other mental illnesses. Join us for Live Webinars.
Mental Health America of Georgia - Staying mentally well during COVID-19
During this time of uncertainty, Mental Health America of Georgia is committed to maintaining social connectedness and educating our communities on managing stress levels, anxiety and reducing isolation. Therefore, we will be offering select mental health awareness webinars at no cost to participants.
Calm is an app you can download. They have created this free resource even for non app users to share some of the tools they are using to take care of our minds and stay grounded. Enjoy this duration of content hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this time.
Better Sleep Tips
Emotional-Support Help Line: 1-866-342-6892
Free access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Provided by Optum, the toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.
• Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
• Transgender Crisis Hotline: (877) 656-8860
• LGBTQ+ Hotline: (866) 488-7386
• Graduate Student Help Line (800) 472-3457
• Veterans Help Line: (800) 838-2838
Virtual Relaxation Room
Visit the VSU Counseling Center Virtual Relaxation Room.
Visit the VSU Counseling Center YouTube Channel
Health - Coronavirus Hotline & Telehealth
USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
All students at University System of Georgia institutions are now eligible to consult with SHIP doctors, nurses and mental health specialists as they work through issues related to COVID-19. These consultations are no cost for students enrolled in the USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and $40 for non-enrolled students. There is a 24/7 help line available for all students at no charge.
During times like this it is important to stay informed, but limit viewing social media and news reports to help decease stress and anxiety. The following are sound advice resources that can be used.
- Center for Disease Control
- John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- World Health Organization
COVID‐19 Hotline ‐ Information from Department of Community Health https://dph.georgia.gov/
The State of Georgia has a new COVID‐19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID‐19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.
Hotline: (844) 442‐2681
Most health insurance providers offer a Telehealth option. If you have nonemergency healthcare concerns,telehealth can be a good option. While COVID‐19 cannot be confirmed through virtual or remote care, provider teams can help with screening symptoms, assign risk, answer questions and recommend the next steps. You should be able to find this information on your insurance card or by calling your plan. We have included links to telehealth for various insurances below.
- APWU High Option Plan member and the consumer driven plan member) - https://www.apwuhp.com/coronavirus-outbreak-update/
- Anthem - https://www.anthem.com/blog/your-health-care/telehealth-alternative-to-office-visits/
- Cigna Telehealth - https://www.cigna.com/individuals-families/member-resources/telehealth-connection-program
- Humana - https://www.humana.com/manage-your-health/home-and-community-support/telemedicine
- NALC - https://www.nalchbp.org/news/telehealth-virtual-visits
- Tricare - https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/Telemedicine
- United Healthcare - https://www.uhc.com/individual-and-family/member-resources/health-care-tools/virtual-visits
- United Healthcare Student Resources plan - http://go.healthiestyou.com/student/
- United Healthcare Student Resources (SACM) - http://www.telehealth4sacm.com/
- Aetna - https://www.aetna.com/individuals-families/health-insurance-through-work/health-insurance-information/telemedicine.html
- APWU Consumer Driven Plan - https://www.apwuhp.com/coronavirus-outbreak-update/
- ChampVA - https://mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect
- GEHA - https://www.geha.com/geha-blog/healthy-living/2020/01/16/easy-professional-and-accessible-mdlive?_ga=2.36232608.1875860856.1584459672-1551993479.1584459672
Structuring Your Day With Self Care and Time Management
Everyone responds differently to times of social distancing, uncertainty and possible quarantine. Below you will find resources for needed mental breaks, time management, and creative activities.
Connecting Virtually with the Outdoors and Wildlife
- Virtual Tours of National Parks National Parks
- Virtual Tours of Museums and Zoos Google Docs List of Virtual Tours of Museums and Zoos
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Webcams Monterey Bay Aquarium Webcams
- Georgia Aquarium Webcams Georgia Aquarium Webcams
Coloring Pages to Print
Other ways to take a break
- Watch movies/series/TV shows you’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix/Hulu/Prime
- Listen to a cool new Podcast on Spotify
- Take a walk
- Cuddle with your cat/dog/other pet
- Read that book you have had on your to read list
- Write in a journal
- Miss your classmates still? You can watch Netflix at the same time as your friends with a group chat! Check this out: Netflix Party!
Resources to Connect Virtually & Prepare for Online Learning
Resources for Students Learning Online
- Keep Learning USG - is a site designed to support student as they make the shift to virtual learning. The site is deliberately created to be easily accessed on a phone, with copy in an informal student-friendly style. The information leads students step by step through best practices to succeed in a remote instructional environment. We know that many of you have also created similarly focused resources, and we have linked to many of those as additional resources guides.
- The Academic Success Center has partnered with Innovative Educators to offer access to virtual services free for 30 days (starting 3/23/2020). These resources include the following.
Go2Orientation - Orientation For Online Learners
- How To Be Successful In An Online Class
- Taking Tests Online
- Managing Your Time & Combating Procrastination
- Technical Requirements
- Study Strategies For Online Classes
- Staying Motivated
- Communicating Online With Instructor & Classmates
- Academic Integrity Online
StudentLingo - Online Student Success Workshops (20 Workshops)
- Online Learning Skills
- Study Strategies & Test-Taking Skills
- Personal Management & Success Skills
- Research & Writing
Download this document for instructions on how to set up your account.
The Academic Support Center is offering online tutoring (Guide to Online Tutoring).
All students at VSU have been enrolled in a VSU BlazeVIEW Student Tutorial to help them get acclimated to learning online.
We encourage students to download Brightspace Pulse, a FREE mobile app that can help VSU students to stay connected with their BlazeVIEW courses. Here are some of its features:
• Easy view of course documents, readings, assignments, grades, announcements, and the calendar
• Read and reply to discussion posts after a discussion thread has already been created
• Communicate using an e-mail tool that can connect individual students with an instructor
• Real-time alerts that notify when updated course content and grades are available
USG's eCampus developed a Quick Start Guide to Online Learning for Students that contains tips and information for navigating the BlazeVIEW D2L learning management system.
Microsoft Teams is accessible through Office 365, offered online in the MyVSU portal using VSU e-mails of faculty, staff, and students. Features include group chat, video conferencing, and file sharing. This is a tool that can be helpful when connecting with clsssmates and may be used by instructors and advisors.
Use hoonuit (a training library of show and tell videos), to learn about 365 Teams. Go to MyVSU, View All Portals, Select Hoonuit from your Portals. Use the search bar and type in teams. This course is available.
Office™ 365 Teams is a group collaboration space that pulls together many Office 365 tools into one convenient location. Teams can be created for classroom groups, allowing the instructor to share and collect assignments, communicate with students, and share files. Teams can also be created for groups of peers, allowing all participants to collaborate with robust tools. Many different tools can be integrated into Teams to customize it for the needs of your group.
You’ll learn about:
- Customizing your workspace
- Working with files
- Meet Now
- Class notebooks
- Mobile apps
- Using Planner
Staying Active When Gyms are Closed
Stay Tuned! More coming soon!
Stopping Social Stigma
Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma.
For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.
Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:
- Persons of Asian descent
- People who have traveled
- Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
Stigmatized groups may be subjected to:
- Social avoidance or rejection
- Denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment
- Physical violence.
Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.
Tips for Eating Healthy at Home