Preparing for the transition to a post-pandemic world
As we begin this month, over half of all residents in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated from Covid-19. Along with most other states Massachusetts has already started the transition to full reopening, signalling a hopeful end to a long period of isolation. However, even as the coronavirus pandemic begins to wind down, we are only just beginning to tackle the fallout. Many are struggling with practical issues including reduced incomes, lowered access to local services due to isolation, and difficulty finding affordable/available childcare. Calls to local mental health lines have nearly doubled due in part to the stress and trauma of the last year. Finally, many workplaces, including the city, are returning their workers to pre-pandemic on-site hours, which can be very difficult to readjust to on a mental and practical level.
To help with this process, we at the Employee Assistance Program wanted to take the time this month to highlight many compiled resources by category, focusing on mental health, substance use recovery, housing, child and elder care, and more.
- The National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides free, 24/7 phone support to somebody in distress, as well as prevention and crisis hotlines for individuals who are struggling, or their friends and family. The number is 1-800-273-8255.
- National Domestic Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.
- LifeLink provides peer support for individuals struggling with mental health or substance abuse related concerns. The LifeLink Peer-to-Peer Warm line is 855-466-7100.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance continues to offer online support groups for individuals facing depression, bi-polar, and anxiety. They also offer groups for friends and families of people struggling with these mental health issues. It's free to register, completely anonymous and confidential, and no webcam is necessary.
- Care Dimensions is a hospice organization that also hosts numerous support groups for those struggling with grief and loss. Check out their event calendar for topics, dates and times.
- If you are looking for long term therapy, you can work either through your insurance provider’s list, or use the following online resources to search for a therapist in your area.
- This article from the University of California has insight from psychologists on why we feel anxiety in returning to work and school, and tips on how to prepare for that adjustment.
Substance Abuse Recovery Resources
- Alcoholics Anonymous offers a meetings database, both in person and virtual. You can also find a list of Narcotics Anonymous meetings here.
- SMART Recovery also offers primarily online meetings for individuals in recovery or struggling with substance abuse. There are different formats and group sizes to choose from.
- Al Anon offers in person, online and phone support meetings for anybody who is affected by alcoholism, including family and friends.
- Be sure to check if you are eligible for the Rental Relief Fund if you have been economically impacted by Covid-19 and your housing is at risk.
- The Office of Housing Stability is a city resource devoted to helping city residents and landlords alike navigate housing issues and crises.
- The Boston Home Center offers free confidential foreclosure prevention and intervention services.
- Mass.gov offers a guide on how to obtain housing assistance.
Childcare, Elder Care, and other Community Resources
- The Boston Parks and Recreation Department is conducting both in-person and virtual summer fitness classes for free to the public.
- The EEC has a searchable childcare database for Massachusetts residents (account registry required) that searches by family income, child age, and voucher eligibility. Included is a number to speak with a childcare referral specialist.
- The AARP is an excellent national and local resource for family caregiving resources.
- 1-844-422-6277: Personal Care Assistant Hotline for PCA related needs.
- 617-660-5399: Nursing Home Family Resource Line, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days a week.
- Mass 211 offers resources and information for local resources, 24/7 and confidential.
Finally, as always, the EAP is available for city employees and their families for confidential counseling Monday-Friday 7am-6pm, at 617-635-2200. Have a good month!