In May, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that a third of Americans show symptoms of anxiety, depression or both. This pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and every one of us, regardless of age. I’ve heard from so many of you coping with everything from job losses to the fear of losing a home in a wildfire to the growing feeling of isolation.
We are a strong community and when we help each other we can get through this. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so that we can help or connect you to resources. Please send me a note at [email protected] and let me know what you need and how you’re doing.
Below is a list of ways for you and your loved ones to get help as well as how you can help those in need.
HOW TO GET HELP
- Maintain social contact with supportive relationships like friends, family or others, by phone, text, or internet, or find socially distanced and safe ways to connect
- Treat your body kindly: eat healthy foods, avoid excessive alcohol or substance abuse, and exercise as you are able.
- One safe way to exercise is to walk in your neighborhood if you can.
- Call your health care provider if your anxiety interferes with your daily activities.
- Learn about additional strategies to manage your stress for health.
- Be aware: you’re one step ahead if you know that surviving a disaster and dealing with the long aftermath can be hard on mental health. Keep an eye out for symptoms, not just obvious ones like constant worrying, anxiety, PTSD, fear and crying or feeling short-tempered, but also trouble sleeping (or oversleeping), overeating (or lack of appetite) and heavy drinking. Remember that kids can feel the impact, too, and that might show up as acting out, anger or trouble with distance learning.
- Seek Support: many survivors never hear about or receive help from the Federal Crisis Counseling Assistance Program, run by FEMA or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the country’s main response to the mental-health consequences of disasters.
- Offer Help: Some disaster survivors find solace by helping others, which can be one way to get some control back in a situation that often makes people feel powerless.
- Take Action: If you identify a problem that caused or worsened a disaster’s impact, pressing for a fix to that problem can make you feel more powerful and can be healing.
- Prepare for Next Time: Plan to make sure you are ready to respond for the next emergency.
Youth and Family Mental Health Services
- Alum Rock Counseling Center: Mental and behavioral counseling for youth and families in East San Jose
- Bill Wilson Center: Case management, psychiatric and medication support for children and youth
- Bill Wilson Center: Immediate mental health services to young people ages 16-24
Veteran Mental Health Services
- VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS): provide consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being
- NAMI Veterans Resources Center: an online Veterans Resource Center to help support veterans facing serious mental illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia
Senior Citizen Mental Health Services
- Community Services Agency: Senior case management and support
- Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County: Wellness and recovery support services
LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Services
- Trans Lifeline: Direct emotional and financial support for trans people in crisis from their trans peers
- The LGBTQ Youth Space: A mental health program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally youth and young adults ages 13-25 in Santa Clara County
Cultural Mental Health Services
- Indian Health Center of Santa Clara County: Healthcare and wellness services for American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Mekong Community Center: Out-patient behavioral health services for Southeast Asians, particularly within Vietnamese communities
- Bill Wilson Center Young Adult Hotline: 408-850-6140 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Bill Wilson Center Youth and Family Crisis Line: 408-850-6125
- Community Solutions Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence: 1-877-363-7238
- Community Solutions Youth & Family Crisis Line: 1-408-683-4118
- Trans Lifeline Peer Support Hotline: 1-877-565 – 8860
- Crisis Hotline: 1-855-278-4204
- Crisis Text Line: Text RENEW to 741741
- Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-855-278-4204
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
- 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- NAMI Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741 for 24/7 crisis support
- CalHOPE Warm Line: (833) 317-HOPE (4673)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: 741741 to receive confidential texts
HOW TO GIVE HELP
- Silicon Valley Strong: Offer your space to those in need of emergency housing and find other ways to support our local community
- San Mateo and Santa Clara County Fire Relief Fund: Fund established by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to support individuals and families affected by the wildfires
- California Fire Foundation: Provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect
- Latino Community Foundation NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund: Support for frontline community partners, who are helping those affected by the August 2020 wildfires
- Hobee’s Providing Meals to Fire Evacuees & Heroes: All five Hobee locations are working together to feed those affected by CZU and SCU Lightning Complex fires. They have put together a gofundme so that they can cover the food costs of the meals.
- MyMove: where to donate food when you move
- American Red Cross: Donations will go to the Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts
- The Salvation Army: Donations support disaster relief for the current wildfires as well as potential future disasters
- Big Basin Redwoods Recovery Fund: Donations are needed to rebuild Big Basin Redwoods State Park
- Wildfire Relief Fund: Support for immediate, mid- and long term recovery efforts for major California wildfires
- Woodside Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund: Help support large animal disaster relief.