In the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine period, many organizations and cultural institutions have made their content freely accessible online. There are so many resources, where do you even start? The Adults at Home series highlights some of the best resources for adults and seniors on a variety of topics.
These are challenging times and many of us are experiencing a variety of emotional responses that can feel overwhelming or difficult. Some of us need immediate help to respond to a crisis. Others may want to learn new coping skills to manage the stresses of our new reality. Or, we may just want to talk to someone because we are feeling lonely and isolated. Below you will find a range of services that are free and confidential. Many are available in Spanish as well as English and other languages. Reach out.
Crisis Counseling & Referral Services
Available in English, Spanish & Other Languages
2-1-1 Bay Area, a program of United Way, is a confidential, comprehensive information and referral service for San Francisco, San Mateo, Napa, Marin, Santa Clara, and Solano counties connecting callers and texters with local community services, such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care, senior services, and more. Dial 2-1-1 or 800-273-6222 or text your zip code to 898211, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 is available in 150 languages through phone interpretation services. Texting is available in English and Spanish.
The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline that provides crisis counseling and support 24/7, 365-day-a-year, to people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster including COVID-19.
Call 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support. Callers to the hotline can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services. Or, text TalkWithUs to 66746 for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746.
Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. For TTY call: 1–800–787-3224
800.656.HOPE (4673) is free, confidential and available 24/7 in English and Spanish. Call if you or someone you care about has experienced sexual assault or harassment and needs support, assistance, and advice. Chat services are also available. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 150 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
Call: 800-273-TALK (8255)
For Spanish, visit the website Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio or call 1-888-628-9454.
Services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing are available on the website and through:
Video relay Service or Voice/Caption Phone: 800-273-8255
By Text Only
Text HOME to 741741 and you’ll be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. The Crisis Text Line provides free, text-based support 24/7 and works in partnership with close to 200 city- and state-level agencies, as well as universities and nonprofit services that offer assistance for a range of issues, including eating disorders, addiction, suicide prevention and child abuse.
For LGBTQ Youth
Call 1–866–488–7386 or text START to 678678 to reach this national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. Call the Care Support Team at 855–227–3640, 8:00 AM — 7:00 PM ET to speak to a care-giving expert for information and support.
For Conversation & Connection
Well Connected, 877-797-7299, and Well Connected Español, 877-400-5867 is a telephone and online community made up of participants, staff, and facilitators who care about each other and who value feeling connected. Call to share laughs, intellectual stimulation, inspiration, and conversation through groups you can join from home, by phone or online. Well Connected is a Covia Community Services program.
The Friendship Line, 415-750 – 4111, is both a crisis intervention center and a “warm” line for routine, even daily, phone calls that provide emotional support, medication reminders and well-being check-ins. A program of Institute on Aging’s Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief-Related Services, the Friendship Line is nationally known and accredited by the American Association of Suicidology.
Manage Stress, Anxiety & Improve Well Being
The Centers for Disease Control website has information on Stress and Coping available in English, Spanish and other languages.
The Greater Good Science Center of UC Berkeley studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Their website has a range of resources including videos, articles, online courses and a mobile-friendly online gratitude journal, Thnx4.org. The Greater Good’s Guide to Well-Being During Coronavirus include timely articles such as: Three Tips from a Therapist for Calming Your Coronavirus Anxiety, How to Stop Feeling So Helpless During Quarantine, and How to Help Teens Handle the Loss of Proms and Graduations.
Mental Health America has an in-depth list of resources for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. Specific information can be found for parents, older adults, the LGBTQ+ community, first responders, caregivers, and mental health providers. They also produced this webinar on how to provide support for ourselves and others.
How to reduce stress with the 2:1 breathing technique demonstrated by Debbie Lyn Toomey, Injury Prevention coordinator at Tufts Medical Center
Dr. Craig Sawchuk, psychologist and Division Chair of Integrated Behavioral Health at the Mayo Clinic discusses specific recommendations about how to manage stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic on the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast.
Podcasts & Live Streaming
On The Happiness Lab podcast, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos shares the latest scientific research on happiness plus some surprising stories that will alter the way you think about happiness. Check out the 10-episode Coronavirus Bonus series and listen to podcasts entitled: Beat your Isolation Loneliness, Calm Can Be Contagious, Coach Yourself Through a Crisis and more.
The Ten Percent Coronavirus Sanity Guide, is offered free by journalist, author, and Ten Percent Happier co-founder Dan Harris. He speaks with scientists and experts about how to stay sane in the midst of coronavirus. You will find a new coronavirus specific free podcast episode every week.
Plus, every weekday, Harris and some of the world’s best meditation teachers, will live stream from their homes to yours at tenpercent.com/live , 3pm ET. The program will start with a five minute meditation, and then take questions form the audience. Episodes will be posted and can be viewed at a later time. Recent episodes include: Get Through This. Here’s How. with Rick Hanson, Meditating in a Pandemic with Joseph Goldstein, If You’re Going Stir-Crazy, Try This with Sharon Salzberg.