California Health and Human Service Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave an update Tuesday on COVID-19 and behavioral health and new resources being built to support resiliency.
Dr. Ghaly gave a brief update on the status of COVID-19 in the state. When it came to California's Blueprint for a safer economy and the tier system he repeated the criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions.
- Test positivity
- Adjusted case rate
- Forthcoming health equity metric
Dr. Ghaly said the health equity metric is coming soon.
He said widespread stress and anxiety regarding COVID-19, compounded by economic stress, school closures and distance learning, and isolation due to necessary physical distancing measures, can result in an increase of stress-related behavioral health and health conditions.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explained one of the resources being offered, the CalHOPE project.
The project has self-help tools and referrals to resources, including individual and group crisis counseling service and community networking and support.
And as part of the California Surgeon General's Playbook, a topic is Stress Relief during COVID-19.
Dr. Harris shared that stress can show up in our bodies, emotions, and behavior in many different ways. Changes to sleep patterns, headaches, and stomach aches may all be signs of an overactive stress response.
The Playbook includes resources for children and families, first responders, and health care providers.
Harris dedicated a part of the briefing on the cumulative stress of COVID-19, fires, social injustices and politics.
Things you can do:
- Pause-remember to breathe
- Put down the remote - take a break from the news and social media
- Be kind to your body - eat well, sleep well, minimize alcohol, tobacco and non-prescribed drugs
- Get outside and exercise at a level that suits your fitness
Simple acts to enhance your mental and physical health and those you love:
- Stay connected even if physically separated
- If you think someone is having trouble ask them how they are doing - if you see something, say something
- Stay physically active
- learn and practice mindfulness
- Stay CalHOPEful