December 14, 2020

EPIC Exchange

Don't keep this great resource to yourself! Please share it with your colleagues and networks. If you would like more information on Emergency Preparedness and Response, visit CDC's Emergency Preparedness & Response website.

Images of people wearing masks and caption wear a mask. protect others.


You may know people who are experiencing emotional distress caused by, or worsened by, the COVID-19 pandemic. The links below provide tips, tools, and resources to reduce stress, develop a healthy routine, and improve emotional well-being.

Non-CDC content is provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this newsletter is not intended to indicate actual or implied endorsement. Information is provided “as is.” Users are encouraged to evaluate these resources and make their own determination about usefulness and effectiveness.


Updates from CDC


Vaccine Update: Saturday the CDC Director signed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation to use Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 and older. This official CDC recommendation follows Friday’s FDA decision to authorize the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday, and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S., CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Reducing the harm caused by this pandemic will require using all of the tools we have to stop the spread. Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. The more steps you take, the more you are protected against COVID-19.

Twitter Chat: Mental Health & the Holidays - Strategies to Help Your Audiences Cope. On Tuesday, December 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET, the How Right Now Campaign will take over @CDCInjury for a Twitter chat. Together with co-host, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, they will bring together diverse organizations to support the mental health needs of the audiences they serve.


Mental Health: Improve your overall well-being

Man at home using his cell phone


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19):

COPING-19: In partnership with mental health experts, the COPING-19 campaign has gathered resources and tools to help you find a harmony of health for body and mind during these highly stressful times.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: NCTSN’s mission is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for children recovering from trauma, their families, and communities throughout the United States.

SAMHSA: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the mental and behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA provides COVID-19 guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states across the country.

How Right Now: How Right Now is a comprehensive, partnership-based communication initiative. The initiative focuses on addressing people’s mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing an individual’s coping skills and resilience. How Right Now provides information, strategies, and resources through their website and through a network of over 70 national partner organizations. Also available in Spanish.


Resources for Children, Teens, and Young Adults


Sesame Street: Caring for Each Other: This resource is filled with COVID-19 related content that you can use to spark playful learning, offer children comfort, and focus a bit on yourself, too.

PBS: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus: Find tips and activities to help you play and learn at home!

Active Minds: Coping and Staying Emotionally Well During COVID-19-related School Closures: The impact of a school closure on campuses and students often goes beyond academics; we need to be aware of and prepared to cope with the potential impact these closures will have on the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff, and faculty.

Supporting Children and Teens During this Holiday Season (NCTSN): This printable resource offers parents and caregivers strategies and ideas for supporting children and teens during the holiday season. It provides tips that parents can use to talk to their children and teens about how they are feeling. It also shares tips that families can use to make this holiday season still feel special, including creative ways families can stay connected to loved ones and friends. Ideas for self-care and additional resources are also included.

Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Youth High School and College Age (NCTSN): This document helps high school students and young adults understand how economic difficulties may affect them and provides suggestions on how they can cope during these highly stressful times.

The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline is a resource for LGBTQ youth that are in crisis, having suicidal feelings, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk.

Coping After a Natural Disaster (CDC): This page provides mental health information and resources for teens affected by natural disasters but may also be useful for coping with a pandemic.


Resources for Older Adults

Administration on Aging: Eldercare Locator: The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connects you to services for older adults and their families, including helpful fact sheets.

Depression and Older Adults: Resources from the National Institute on Aging, for older adults who may be struggling with depression.

Managing the Effects of Social Distancing: Resources from HHS with strategies for managing the effects of social distancing in older adults during COVID-19

Resources for Families


Supporting Families During COVID-19: Tips from the Child Mind Institute that can help parents balance work, childcare, and self-care.

Managing your Stress in Tough Economic Times: Tips from the American Psychological Association to help deal with stress about money and the economy.

Overcome Sadness with Resources about Mental Health: Resources from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for students, parents, and educators to recognize the signs of depression and get help.

Mental Health apps recommended by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: These apps equip you with tools and information to assist in managing PTSD-related symptoms and stress, learning to practice mindfulness and strengthening parenting skills.

Mental Health and Coping during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Resources and tools to help you or someone you know deal with stress, cope with grief, speak to children about COVID-19, and support older adults or veterans in staying healthy during the pandemic.


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