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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How are you doing?

The past year has been overwhelming for many of us. Across the country, Americans are experiencing high rates of pandemic-related stress and anxiety, and Vermont is no different. Depression and substance use seem to be on the rise. Children, teens, and young adults are particularly hard hit, as the mental health crisis unfolding in Vermont demonstrates. 

“There is no question that here in Vermont, like everywhere, more than a year of Covid stress has taken a toll on mental health,” says Cath Burns, Ph.D., a Vermont-based clinical psychologist who serves as clinical supervisor at COVID Support VT. “We’re here to let you know that if you’re struggling with mental health challenges, you are not alone. It’s okay to not be okay. We are here to help.”

Support Counselors Offer Mental Health Support and Referrals

Burns supervises the “warmline” at COVID Support VT (2-1-1, option #2), where specially trained support counselors are available five days a week for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling and referrals to community-based supports. A Spanish-speaking counselor is available on the warmline and via What’s App. Interpreters in other languages common to Vermont’s immigrant population are available upon request. You can even request that a counselor call a loved one (with their permission). Studies have demonstrated the power of a simple phone call to ease anxiety and isolation.

Free Online Workshops on Wellness and Coping Support Mental Health

Burns and her team of support counselors also facilitate free, weekly online workshops on wellness and self-care topics. Covid Recovery Through Wellness (Tuesdays and Thursdays) explores healthy ways to cope with stress by developing a wellness plan. Coping with Covid: Youth Discussion Group gathers on first Wednesdays of the month for candid conversation about youth anxiety. The weekly Activity Group for Older Vermonters invites older adults to join a session of play-focused games for fun and social interaction every Wednesday. And on Fridays, Writing Through Covid guides participants in how to use journaling as a tool to manage pandemic stress. The team also creates customized workshops for organizations and groups on specific topics such as compassion fatigue or grief. 

Comprehensive Website Serves as Portal to Mental Health Resources

The website is your gateway to carefully vetted information and resources to support your mental health. The Resources and Apps page, for example, links to a wealth of wellness apps and information organized by themes. There, you can find lists of resources for Parents and Caregivers, First Responders, Older Adults, and many other groups.  The Self-Help Resources page focuses on things we can each personally do to promote our own wellness and self-care.  

One-Click Translation Offers Accessibility to Non-English Speakers

Non-English or limited-English speakers are often marginalized and may be at increased risk for mental health challenges. One-click translation of most everything on the website provides access to some resources for non- or limited-English speakers. In addition, many of the resources are available in up to 10 languages common to Vermont’s refugee and immigrant population. Find Multilingual Resources here.


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 Monday – Friday. 

In crisis? 

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 Help

Find resources and tools for coping with stress at 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 most everything on the 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. 

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