I’m really concerned, depressed and scared at the state of the world and what my life is turning into, with the coronavirus and wildfires and all the violence and hate in the world and it’s really hurting my mental health. I’m terrified of going back to school in-person with the coronavirus and being infected with something that I could bring home that could kill my family. I had 2 panic attacks this week because I thought school was happening in-person. I’m feeling really really anxious and depressed, and I feel like there’s no hope. I don’t know what’s happening except that it’s bad. What can I do to cope with it all? Please help!​

depressed girlThank you for your questions; there is certainly a lot happening in the world and a lot of people are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. While it can be so normal to worry when there are scary things happening, other times this worry and anxiety can affect your life.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to:

  • Set limits. Limit how much you’re hearing and talking about the things that make you anxious and depressed. For example, you may want to choose to spend time away from social media and/or news sites for a little while.
  • Check your sources. Make sure that when you are getting information, you are doing so from a trusted, reliable source.
  • Check in with yourself throughout the day. If you notice you’re feeling worse, try doing something you enjoy. This can be a small, nice way to do self-care (or take care of yourself).
  • Reach out to a trusted adult. This can be a parent, caregiver, or other trusted adult (such as a coach, teacher, or relative). Letting them know how you feel is another good step to take when things are feeling like they’re getting to be too much to manage.
  • Talk to your health care provider. They may have other suggestions, including local resources, therapy, and/or medicines.

If you ever feel suicidal or feel like hurting yourself, it’s really important to reach out to an adult you trust and let them know how you’re feeling. Other helpful resources that are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week:

  • Crisis Text Line – You can text 741-741 to get free support from a trained volunteer Crisis Counselor.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – You can call 1-800-273-8255 or go online and chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
  • Local Emergency Services. If you are in the United States, you can also call 911.​