Staying home and dealing with the stress related to COVID-19 can hit those who struggle with mental illness particularly hard. If area residents find they are struggling and need to reach out, there are multiple resources available.

The state Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services launched a warmline, available 24/7 to support individuals who may be experiencing anxiety or other difficult emotions. The toll-free number is 1-855-284-2494.

Meanwhile, there is also a McKean County Crisis Hotline which can be called at either 1-800-459-6568 or 814-362-4623. This is a 24-hour emergency hotline that can provide walk-in services and mobile crisis counseling. Any McKean County resident who is in crisis can call. Services are available for both youth and adults.

For those who are looking for additional resources, the Department of Human Services continues to update the GIS map of available resources, which is located at https://www.mckeancountypa.org/news_detail_T6_R1.php

Finally, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization Helping Children Cope with Emergencies provided excellent tips/advice for families to follow. The advice outlined therein reflects good practices which should be done before, during and after crises: consistent schedules/routines for bedtime and meals and for activities like school and exercise/reading/playing a game and for social contact through phone, tablets and computers. That information can be found at the below links:

CDC — https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html and Healthy Parenting — https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/healthy-parenting.

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