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New DHS web page offers tools to ease stress during COVID-19 pandemic

With Minnesotans grappling with changes brought on by the virus there are even more people struggling this year with stress, anxiety and other issues.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — May has traditionally the month to focus on mental health, and with Minnesotans grappling with changes brought on by the virus, there are even more people struggling this year with stress, anxiety and other issues.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is joining other organizations across the country in reaching out to let people know there are resources that can help.

“The pandemic has thrown us all a curveball,” said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “When it comes to mental health, we have to acknowledge the fact that we are living through difficult times and then make sure to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.”

While the coronavirus has many worried about their health, their loved ones and the community, they're also feeling isolated, with social distancing keeping friends and families apart. For people who may already be facing mental health challenges, the added stress and anxiety may be too much.

To help in these challenging times, DHS has launched a page with a number of mental health resources on the Minnesota COVID-19 response website. It offers residents a range of supports that include:

  • Coping with COVID - An online resource developed by Minnesota DHS
  • Peer Support Connection Warmline - Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive. Call or text 844-739-6369 between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • **CRISIS - Call **CRISIS (274747) from a cell phone to talk to professionals who can help.
  • Crisis Text Line - Text "MN" to 741 741
  • Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline - A service of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Call 833-600-2670
  • Tools 2 Thrive - This website focuses on resources to reduce stress and anxiety.

Even if you don't suffer from mental health issues, DHS says there are plenty of things everyone can do to reduce stress and anxiety during the time of COVID-19.

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media
  • Take deep breaths and stretch
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make time to unwind
  • Connect with others while maintaining social distancing.

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