March 25th, 2020
A letter to you from our Executive Director, Muguette Guenneguez
At NAMI Seattle, we want to connect with you as we face a national pandemic that is already beginning to upend our lives. As a community of caring individuals, we know we can get through this together – even from a distance! To this end, we are sharing with you our strategy for keeping people safe while continuing to serve and support our community and each other.
While our in-person support groups, classes and workshops have been suspended until further notice, we are developing new ways for our community to meet remotely and stay connected – stay tuned for updates! Our Helpline is also still up and running. You are welcome to text 206-207-7765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our caring Helpline coordinators will get back to you.
We know this public health crisis is also deeply impacting the mental health of our communities. In addition to the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations (hand-washing, social distancing, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve), we also want to share some suggestions for supporting your mental, as well as physical, health:
- Maintain your daily routines as much as possible. Stay connected via phone and video chat to your support networks. Treat yourself kindly and remember that taking care of yourself is the first step toward taking care of others.
- Ask your health care provider about getting 90-day medication supplies. If this is declined, challenge the decision at least three times. Decisions made regarding health plan adjustments may change as conditions evolve.
- Ask your health care provider about tele-therapy or mental health services online.
- Don’t be afraid to turn off the news! Limiting news updates to select, reliable sources like the CDC is a good way to manage anxiety when the constant barrage of news reports gets overwhelming.
- Reach out to close family and friends who are at higher risk and offer to pick up groceries or other necessary items.
This article from NAMI National has many other excellent suggestions about taking care of yourself during this time.
At NAMI Seattle we are hard at work determining the best way to adapt our programs moving forward, and we will soon have updates about new options for you. In addition, you can watch our website, Facebook page, or Twitter, and Instagram feeds for articles, inspiration and program updates. Our social media handle is easy to remember and the same across all platforms – @namiseattle.
Remember, we are returning all calls, texts, and emails to our Helpline. We are here for you.