Importance of learning to ‘mentally and emotionally pace’ yourself as you social distance

March 28, 2020

By: Jordan Chavez

Originally appeared on 9News

Many people are feeling overwhelmed by the outbreak and the constant stream of news about the novel coronavirus.

DENVER — Mental health care providers say they’re seeing a surge in patients due to fear surrounding COVID-19.

Many are feeling overwhelmed by the outbreak and the constant stream of news about the novel coronavirus. One factor behind their concerns is that no one, not even medical professionals, have an idea when life will return to normal.

9NEWS expert Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel said that’s why learning to mentally and emotionally pace yourself is key.

He recommends unplugging from the news every now and then. And if you’re having trouble with that, then maybe “pick one trusted news source to check in the morning and the afternoon.” That’s how you can get all of the important news of the day without being barraged with the headlines all day long, Wachtel said.

He said exercise, outdoors or inside, can also help people feel better, even if you “just have to sort of walk in place for 10 minutes while you’re checking Twitter.”

This is also a good time to learn and practice mindfulness – be it meditation, yoga or something like tai chi.

We’ve put together this list of mental health and addiction resources to help you or a loved one receive a helping hand when you need it.

Mental health

Colorado Crisis Services

There are four ways to get confidential and immediate help: by phone at 1-844-493-8255, over text message (text the word “TALK” to 38255), via an online chat service, or at walk-in centers throughout metro Denver, northern, the southeast region and the western slope. Many of these services are available 24/7.

Trained counselors are available to help with relationship problems, depression, bullying, stress, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, family crisis and more.


Safe2Tell allows students, parents and community members to anonymously report anything that is concerning or threatening. According to their website, those who use the service can help stop a friend from committing suicide, get a friend to stop using drugs, or keep a bully from continuing to make other students miserable.

Tips can be made by calling 1-877-542-7233. They can also be submitted online, or via the Safe2Tell app.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support for those in crisis 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado

The department offers outpatient counseling for individuals and families; intensive counseling and medication evaluation through a partial hospitalization program; and intensive individual, group and family day outpatient counseling programs.

Learn more and schedule an appointment by calling 720-777-6200 or by visiting their website.

University of Denver Counseling Services Clinic

DU offers counseling services for adults, children, couples, families, etc. at affordable rates. The sessions are provided by graduate student counselors under direct supervision of licensed psychologists and a peer consultation group. Prices range from $5 – $30 per session.

Mental Health Colorado

This advocacy organization hosts a variety of online mental health screening in both English and Spanish, a mental health toolkit for schools, a page dedicated to the latest mental health research, as well as a variety of events throughout the year.

Pro Bono Mental Health and Counseling Program

Spark the Change’s Pro Bono Mental Health Program connects volunteer therapists, counselors and other professionals with low-income Coloradans who are in need of the help. Call 1-844-380-6355 and if you qualify, you’ll be matched with a counselor.

Mental Health America

Take online mental health screens to see where you’re at, research different mental health conditions and treatments, get tips for talking about your mental health, find worksheets for improving your mental health or staying healthy, etc.

Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health

Using this link, you can find the community mental health center nearest to you. All of the centers accept Medicaid and most have sliding payment options for those who do not have insurance.

9Health Online Screening 

Take a mental health screening to determine if you are experiencing the symptoms of a mental health condition.

Substance Abuse

RELATED: Recovery centers want to make sure patients stay connected during COVID-19 outbreak

Alcoholics Anonymous Colorado

Find meetings throughout Colorado as well as information about the program and other services and events put on by AA.

Center for Dependency, AddictionandRehabilitation

A division of UCHealth, CeDAR offers 30- to 120-day residential treatment programs, outpatient treatment programs, medically-supervised detox programs, and recovery management.

Denver Health STEP Program

The Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention Program was established specifically to help teens and young adults from 11 to 24 years of age. It offers a 12-week outpatient program on the campus of Denver Health and in several Denver Public Schools.

Sandstone Care

This treatment center offers outpatient rehab services for teens and young adults struggling with substance abuse and their families. They have locations in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Cascade.

Mountain Springs Recovery

Mountain Springs provides inpatient rehabilitation center in a serene and relaxing environment near Colorado Springs.They offer flexible lengths of stays, on-site detox, multiple types and styles of treatment and support after you leave.

Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorder Helpline

Call 1-800-931-2237 for support, resources or treatment options for you or a loved one. You can also chat online or text “NEDA” to 741741. The National Eating Disorder website has resources on where to find treatment, tips on how to help and options for support.