Join COVID Support VT Clinical Supervisor Cath Burns Ph.D. for a Special Anniversary Wellness Workshop March 18 at 12 noon.
As Vermont and the world mark the rolling, nebulous first “anniversary” of Covid-19, it’s clearer than ever that this crisis is not like others.
For one thing, there’s no clear beginning. No single event marks “the day Covid began.” Of course, there are plenty of dates. The World Health Organization declared a Global Pandemic on March 11. The U.S. and Vermont declared a State of Emergency two days later on March 13. There’s the date of the first case in the U.S., the first case in Vermont, the first death in Vermont, and so on. A never-ending string of impactful dates all around the world.
Furthermore, no clear ending is in sight. Yet, there is hope. Vaccination roll-outs are accelerating. We’re learning more each day. We’re getting better at preventing and treating Covid. It isn’t over, and we don’t know what the “new normal” will look like, but there is light.
Workshop Focuses on Taking Care of Our Emotional Well-Being Amidst Collective Recovery
How do we take care of our emotional well-being in the face of an ongoing, still-unfolding collective recovery? That’s the focus of a special Anniversary Wellness Workshop on March 18 at 12 noon led by COVID Support VT’s Clinical Supervisor and Vermont Care Partner’s Quality Director, Cath Burns, Ph.D.
VT Digger: COVID Support VT Clinical Supervisor Wants People to Cut Themselves Some Slack
VT Digger’s Mike Dougherty recently interviewed Burns for his article, “Sacrifice, solitude and stress: How Vermonters handled a year of crisis.”
Dr. Cath Burns works in crisis counseling. After Tropical Storm Irene caused severe flood damage across the state in 2011, Burns’ team got a list of people needing assistance. They’d go to people’s homes, knock on the door and talk to them.
With Covid, that’s impossible — the damage is too widespread.
“It’s everyone. It’s you, it’s me, it’s everyone,” she said. “Not just that we’re all in it, and let’s all hold hands and figure it out. But that we’re all in it, and we’re really struggling with the stressors — even if we don’t think that we are.”
Burns is now the clinical supervisor [sic] for Covid Support VT, a FEMA-funded counseling program that’s currently slated to operate through June. Part of her job entails leading workshops to help Vermonters strategize about their self-care. She starts each session by telling participants that they are not alone. According to research by the American Psychological Association, 78% of adults report that the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives.
Covid has warped what disaster researchers call a recovery curve, Burns said. After a tragic event, there’s a phase of positivity. “Everybody rallies and tries to deal with the event. They’re like, ‘we can get through this.’” Then, the pits. “Thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is never going to get better.’” Soon after, people improve and find a new normal.
A year into the pandemic, we’re still in that middle phase, Burns said.
“We don’t see a clear end,” she said. “It’s not like after the flood when your house is rebuilt, or when your family’s able to move. It’s not clear what the end will look like. We’re all kind of trying to figure that out together.”
Need to talk?
Call 2-1-1 (option #2) or 866-652-4636 (option #2) for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling. Our Support Counselors are available weekdays. You can also request a counselor call a friend or loved one (with their permission) by filling out this simple form.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825; text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health agency for 24/7 support
Find resources and tools for coping with stress at www.COVIDSupportVT.org. Follow COVID Support VT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, to stay up-to-date, sign up for our newsletter and blog.
Learn about upcoming Wellness Workshops from COVID Support VT, and Town Halls we’re hosting in partnership with community organizations.
One-click translation to 100 languages of everything on the COVIDSupportVT.org website, plus Multilingual Resources & downloadable materials in 10 languages common to Vermont’s New American immigrant and refugee communities.
COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Departments of Emergency Management and Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports.