The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, contact the SummitStone Crisis Center at 970-494-4200, ext. 4, text TALK to 38255, or call 911. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517) is also available.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Local Mental and Behavioral Health Resources

SummitStone Health Partners: The Colorado Spirit support line provides a safe, anonymous outlet for those who may be experiencing a number of emotions due to the effects of the pandemic. Trained counselors can talk to people of all ages who may be experiencing anxiety, depression, hopelessness, worry, or even cabin-fever at levels they never have before. People may not be at the crisis level but are feeling like they need someone to talk to and help them work through this extremely difficult time. Colorado Spirit counselors understand what you are going through and talking to them is free, confidential and anonymous. Talk to someone who is trained, knowledgeable and never judges. Sometimes it can help to talk with someone you don’t know. Colorado Spirit can help people manage and cope with changes. Call (970) 221-5551. 

If you are feeling anxious, stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed and need someone to talk to, free COVID-19 emotional support is available by calling the Health District’s Connections program at 970-221-5551. If you are in crisis, call the SummitStone Crisis Center at 970-494-4200, ext. 4, text TALK to 38255, or call 911.

For information about mental health resources and services during COVID-19, please visit the Mental Health and Substance Use Alliance of Larimer County's website.

Mental Health and the Holidays

For many people, the holidays can be an especially hard time. Coping with isolation and loneliness during the holidays was difficult even before COVID-19 began. Many people will be more isolated than usual this year, and many families will be experiencing their first holiday season since losing a loved one. A lot of us may experience additional stress as we make decisions about changing family gatherings or traditions to stay safer. If you feel depression, despair, anxiety, grief, or hopelessness during this holiday season, know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you get through this time. There are many people who want to help, and many things you can do to help you cope.

For more information about taking care of yourself and your loved ones this holiday season, see the following resources:


Not everyone has a safe home to shelter in during this outbreak. Domestic violence and child abuse may increase as individuals experience increased stress while survivors and their abusers are sheltered together for long periods of time. With more individuals out of work or working remotely and with children not able to attend school, these forms of violence have fewer opportunities to be noticed and addressed. It is particularly important during this time to check in on friends and neighbors. Many services are still open and available to help those who are affected by interpersonal violence.

For COVID-19 prevention information and additional resources, click here