Here is a list of mental health providers offering telehealth services for speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, psychological services, check-ins, literacy services and more.
During times of crisis, mood and feelings can be highly affected. Luckily, mental health resources in the Cayman Islands are now easily accessible and plentiful. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or not okay is normal, especially during a time like this; you are not alone, and caring professionals are here to help you. The best thing you can do for your mental health is express your feelings. Counsellors and psychiatrists have begun offering consultations through online sessions and social media support groups to provide psychological assessments and check-ins by phone or video call.
Deterioration of your mental health is not only associated with depression and anxiety. If you are having trouble sleeping, thoughts of hopelessness, increase in irritability, and an increased use of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, seek help from a mental health professional or express your feelings to someone you trust.
Here is a list of mental health providers offering telehealth services for speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, psychological services, check-ins, literacy services and more:
The Cayman Islands Psychological Association, along with Hazard Management Cayman Islands, has launched a free Mental Health Hotline (Tel: 1-800-534-6463) to assist families experiencing stress and anxiety. The Mental Health Hotline is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
The Alex Panton Foundation hosts virtual community workshops on coping with Coronavirus (COVID-19). The duration of these online workshops are 30 minutes, including time for questions. The Alex Panton Foundation also has a private Facebook group called Stay in & Chill that is primarily for students who are practicing safe isolation. This group provides a range of free virtual activities, workshops and classes to support you to practice social distancing while staying emotionally connected, healthy and mentally stimulated.
Some health insurance companies provide coverage for telehealth sessions. These include BritCay, Cayman First, CINICO, Fidelity and Generali. Please contact your insurance provider to find out if you will be covered.
Here are five tips to help you deal with anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Find a healthy coping mechanism– Adopting or utilising a healthy coping mechanism will provide a distraction and help you maintain your emotional well-being. Healthy coping mechanisms include exercise, meditation, yoga or listening to music. Do not use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. Contact a mental health professional or counsellor if you are beginning to feel overwhelmed.
- Avoid social withdrawal– It is completely normal to feel sad, stressed and scared during a crisis, however do not shut others out. Keep communicating with the ones you love and people you can trust. You are not alone during this crisis, so don’t be afraid to express your feelings, worries and concerns. You may be surprised how many people are experiencing the same feelings. If you are afraid to talk to someone, this may be an excellent time to start a journal or diary which will allow you to vent and get your thoughts out of your head.
- Create a Circle of Control Chart– This chart allows you to focus on things you can control while also acknowledging what you have no control over and let go of worrying about them.
- Stick to your routine- A routine offers stability and a sense of control during times of stress, provides a sense of security and comfort, and make you feel less anxious. Even if you are now working from home, a routine will help you be more productive and focused on things other than the virus. Instead of rolling out of bed and getting straight to work, it’s best to start your day off as if it’s a typical workday.
- Reduce screen time- To avoid anxiety, reduce the amount of time focused on COVID-19. The constant availability of new information may encourage you to check for news updates actively. Remember only to get your information from credible sources and only focus on the facts. Do not rely on rumours or unreliable sources.
Here are four tips to help your children cope with anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Be supportive– Allow them to express their feelings, worries and concerns. During this time, you should be actively listening, answering all their questions and clearing up any rumours that they have heard or elaborate stories that they have imagined.
- Spend more family time together– Avoid separation unless essential. Keeping children close to their parents will help children cope with stress. To reduce stress, you can also include more family activities such as game nights and movie nights into your routine. If you do need to separate, inform your kids why and ensure regular contact and reassurance.
- Stick to your routine– Straying away from your normal routine may cause kids to worry. A routine offers stability during times of stress and provides a sense of security and comfort.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss the virus– Talk to your kids about the situation especially if they are asking a lot of questions or displaying irregular behaviours such as acting clingy, withdrawing, angry or agitated. Not involving them in the discussion will cause them to worry.
For more tips on talking to your child and helping them deal with anxiety and stay informed, click here.