Considering the news regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAMI released the following information.
Key messages From Wisconsin Department of Health Services— March 24, 2020
- You are safer at home.
- We all need to work together to and stay home. This will help us flatten the curve and protect the capacity of the health care system to serve those who will suffer with the most severe disease from COVID-19. Keeping our health care system from becoming overwhelmed so it can care for us during this epidemic is our number one priority.
- The only tool we have to stem the tide of COVID-19 is physical separation from each other. We have to stop this virus from spreading further.
- The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting changes to our lifestyles, can make anyone anxious or even depressed. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Call 800-985-5990 to speak to a trained crisis counselor or text TalkWithUS to 66747.
- While you may not be able to be in the same room with your support system, you can still call or video chat with them.
- Younger people, and particularly those who are 18 to 30 years old, aren’t immune to COVID-19. Anyone can contract COVID-19. So it’s important for everyone, including young and healthy people, to practice social distancing.
- Together we can make a difference in the fight against COVID-19.
- Stay home if you can and especially if you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Practice social distancing. Please keep six feet between people and avoid direct physical contact.
- If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can:
- Text COVID19 to 211-211,
- Visit 211Wisconsin.org, or
- Call 211.
Call volumes are high, please be patient and try to use the text or online options first.
- If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, please call your health care provider.
As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), notes the following in terms of risk assessment:
- The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states.
- People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.
- Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location. The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to several countries. Before traveling, consult travel guidance from the CDC.
NAMI Offers These Tips For People With Mental Illness:
- For anyone who is unsure about attending therapy sessions outside the home, especially those who the CDC has described as being at higher risk, you can ask your health care provider about tele-therapy or mental health services online.
- For anyone who is worried about access to prescribed medications, you can ask your health care provider about getting 90-day supplies vs. a 60 or 30-day supply. If this is not possible, we encourage you to refill your medications as soon as they are allowed.Note: If healthcare providers deny/decline making accommodations, challenge the decisions at least three times. Decision-makers on making health plan adjustments may change if/as conditions worsen.
- Listen to and follow your local public health care provider expectations.
- Provide self-care, especially if in the higher risk population as defined by the CDC. Pay attention to emerging symptoms. Reach out to family and friends.
The NAMI HelpLine Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide may be helpful if you have additional questions or concerns.
NAMI also strongly encourages people to not only check the CDC website daily for updates, but also to listen for updates from local news and public health care providers.
The CDC Offers These Basic Tips While At Work:
- Find out about your employer’s plans if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards and phones, to help remove germs.
- Make sure your workplace has an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs and disposable wipes.
- Train others on how to do your job so they can cover for you in case you or a family member gets sick and you must stay home.
- If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.
Learn more about how you can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses at work.
For more information, the CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary page provides updates as information becomes available.