Psychologist-Led ‘Coping with Covid’ Starts April 7 and Every First Wednesday at 4-5 p.m.  

Our nation is facing a youth mental health crisis, compounded and worsened by Covid-19. More than any other generation, youth in the United States are facing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Public-health experts and psychiatric groups have been sounding the alarm for months, portending a tsunami of long-term consequences if the mental health challenges of today are not met. 

What can we do to help turn the tide? What do today’s youth need to support their mental and emotional well-being at this pivotal point in their development? How does self-care look to our nation’s youth?

A new free discussion group for young people will explore these questions and more. COVID Support VT Clinical Supervisor and Vermont Care Partners Outcomes Director Cath Burns, Ph.D., a licensed child psychologist practicing in Vermont, will facilitate the group. 

Taking Care of Yourself to Cope with Stress, Build Resilience and Well-Being in Youth 

Burns will lead an interactive experience aimed at engaging discussion around what “taking care of yourself” means. Participants will learn how pandemic stress can affect thinking and behavior, and will explore healthy strategies for recovering from disaster. For example, developing a daily wellness plan can help build resilience and emotional well-being. 

“This generation has largely grown up during political and social unrest — and then they were thrust into the disruptive uncertainty of Covid,” says Burns, who works with young people throughout Vermont. “Yet they may not be accustomed to the idea of self-care. Instead, whether consciously or not, they may be using coping strategies that are not healthy.”

APA: Youth Stress, Anxiety Amplified by Uncertainty About the Future

The 2020  American Psychiatric Association Stress in America study found the highest levels of stress in the youngest generation, even though older generations are at higher risk for Covid. Other studies have repeated the finding.

The potential long-term consequences of the persistent stress and trauma created by the pandemic are particularly serious for our country’s youngest individuals, known as Generation Z (Gen Z). Our 2020 survey shows that Gen Z teens (ages 13-17) and Gen Z adults (ages 18-23) are facing unprecedented uncertainty, are experiencing elevated stress and are already reporting symptoms of depression. While older Americans may be able to embrace the feeling of “this, too, shall pass,” Gen Z adults … are at a pivotal moment in their lives, and are experiencing adulthood at a time when the future looks uncertain.

~APA Stress in America Study

Learn about other free workshops at COVID Support VT or request a custom-designed workshop for your group or organization.

Learn how one Vermont agency is battling youth anxiety in creative ways during Covid.

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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 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. 

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