Managing your mental health during these stressful and changing times
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. News of a widespread public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Many students across the nation are dealing with sudden changes to their regular schedules and some are faced with having to quickly leave their campuses.
How to Connect with Us During the Coronavirus Emergency
Rider University is committed to the health and safety of all the members of its campus community; as such, we are currently operating remotely for the rest of the spring semester in support of social distancing.
Counseling Services staff will be regularly checking email ([email protected]) and voicemail (609-896 -5157) Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Students should use email or voice mail to schedule an appointment, or to ask to speak to a counselor to address questions. Personal concerns will be addressed with a counselor by phone or video chat, not by email. Please include a phone number where you can be reached.
For all emergency and urgent situations (i.e., thoughts of killing yourself or others, feeling an imminent risk to yourself), DO NOT leave a message, call Rider Public Safety at 609-896-7777 or call 911.
By contacting Counseling Services or scheduling a phone or video appointment, you are consenting to receive a response and/or services from Counseling Services electronically or digitally.
Due to New Jersey regulations and licensing board statutes, staff might be unable to provide clinical services to you, depending on where you currently reside. In these cases, we will help you to identify resources in your area.
Please reach out to campus or local resources for help if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Recognizing symptoms of distress – A self-checklist*
- Excessive worry, fear, and/or feelings of being “stressed” or overwhelmed.
- Persistent sadness, tearfulness, and/or loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or dread about the future.
- Unexplained physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach, increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue, etc.
- Increased anger, irritability, agitation and/or disruptive behaviors.
- Inability to concentrate or focus.
- Significant changes in sleep, appetite and/or self-care.
- Social isolation or withdrawal.
- Fear or avoidance of public spaces.
- Thoughts about death, dying and/or suicide.
- Impulsive, reckless or risky behaviors (substance abuse, self-injury, etc.)
It’s completely expected and appropriate to experience fear during situations like these. It’s also important to know how to manage overwhelming anxiety and keep perspective as the situation unfolds. Here are some resources and tips that may be helpful:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19. Recommendations include taking actions that can help you de-stress and shift toward a more productive way of living.
Things you can do to support yourself:
- Acknowledge your emotional responses. Give yourself time to reflect on these and think about how you might be coping with your feelings.
- Develop and maintain regular routines and activities such as exercising or studying at regular times during the days.
- 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 and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade.
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
Counseling Services is dedicated to continuing our assistance to students. Our offices will follow the recommendations of university administration, and so will be open when the university is open. If you will be at home during these next few weeks, you are STRONGLY encouraged to find a provider close to your current location, with whom you may stay in treatment if remote learning continues throughout the rest of the semester. The link below will help you identify treatment facilities and community therapists in your area.
Check our website for more resources and please continue to check your Rider email for updates to university policies and recommendations.
*If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical or psychological emergency, and you are ON CAMPUS, contact Public Safety at 609-896-7777.
*If you or someone you know is having a medical or psychological emergency, and you are OFF CAMPUS, dial 911 or go to your local emergency room.