Behavioral Health Hub

Welcome to the Behavioral Health Hub Resource Page.

The Behavioral Health Hub is a listserv that serves as a venue for the behavioral health community to share new resources, tips, and thoughts related to the delivery of behavioral health services and self-care during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

If you would like to join the Behavioral Health Hub listserv, please email Andrea or Cat. We encourage you to join, invite your colleagues, and share the things you are working on and the challenges you are facing.

This Resource Page houses the resources shared via the listserv so that you can refer to them at any time without having to find them in your inbox. We hope you find them to be useful.

Behavioral Health Providers

  • In response to increased demand for resilience-building resources, VHCF developed a Peer-to-Peer Tip Sheet to guide you through 7 activities using the Resilience Skill Building Cards. These activities are designed to be used by two partners – coworkers, family members, friends – to spark a strengths-based, resilience-focused conversation.
  • Engaging in wellness strategies and knowing the signs of burnout are more important than ever, and this fact sheet has simple tools to help!
  • The AAFC has put together a list of 10 practical and simple tips for providing care via phone.
  • Engaging in a little self-compassion as you navigate these uncertain times is more important than ever. One of our favorite websites has compiled a list of 10 Self-Compassion Practices for COVID-19.
  • SAMHSA offers a downloadable fact sheet for you to share with patients to help them Take Care of their Behavioral Health during COVID-19. It is brief and accessible, covering the basics of social distancing, the impact the pandemic can have on behavioral health, and tips for supporting their behavioral health through this uncertain time.  It is available in both English and Spanish.
  • This article on ACES Connection outlines the concept of Post-Traumatic Growth and applies it to the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a helpful way to reframe some of the challenges many are facing during COVID-19.
  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-based strategy for promoting resilience and well-being in a crisis. It is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term functioning and coping. Learn more about PFA-related coping behaviors, core skills, and grounding practices, or for more detailed instruction, Johns Hopkins University offers a free course via Coursera.

Leadership

  • Learn how to support your employees in the face COVID-19 with these tips from the National Council for Behavioral Health.
  • If leaders have a clear way forward, human beings are amazingly resilient. These needs are especially urgent during crises.”This article from Gallup covers the role leaders can play in building and supporting their organization and staff’s resilience during times of crisis. To help your leadership team to implement this research, it also includes a quick 5 question tool to assess leadership’s approach during COVID-19.
  • “Lavender rooms” created at UVA Health to help nurses during COVID-19. A creative, low-cost, and trauma-informed way to support employee’s mental health and resilience while responding to COVID-19.
  • Psychological First Aid for Managers – Resources are available to help managers and leaders learn about how Psychological First Aid can help support their staff through a crisis. Learn about coping behaviors, core skills, and grounding practices and watch a recorded include Psychological First Aid for Managers Webinar to learn the evidence-based steps.

Stress Relievers

  • Weather the Storm” with free meditations, relaxation exercises, workouts, and animated videos from the Headspace app. For a daily dose of mindfulness, try the Daily Meditation Podcast on Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts.
  • COVIDcalm offers free bite-sized stress management sessions for healthcare professionals, live via Zoom. While there are great archived videos on the website, the live sessions are a unique offering. Three times a day, a member of this vetted network of 120 clinicians from all over the world teaches evidence-based, quick, practical techniques that you can take away, use whenever you like, and share with your patients and colleagues. The schedule changes occasionally, so check the website for the most up-to-date session times. This is designed for and open to all healthcare professionals, so share with your colleagues!
  • Anyone can call in to the Health Hero Hotline, to offer a message of gratitude to frontline healthcare workers, and any providers who need to fill up on some gratitude, love, and support can listen to a random selection of those messages on the website.
  • Loving-Kindness Meditation focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness, and warmth towards others. An impressive number of studies show that it can help increase positive emotions, compassion, empathy, and social connection while reducing the stress response, PTSD symptoms, and self-criticism. Read more about some of the evidence behind it here (from a Stanford and Yale Wellness researcher). Interested in learning more? Take a few minutes and try it out for yourself here.

A Storm within a Storm

As behavioral health providers have continued to support their clients’ behavioral health through the global transition into this new post-COVID-19 world, recent events have also shined a light on the impact of historical trauma and toxic stress resulting from systemic racism. Frontline behavioral health providers are in a unique position to affect change.

It’s more important than ever to deepen our understanding of the emotional and mental toll racism takes, as well as the steps we can take to help patients stay well, whole, and healthy as we all work to create a better world.

While it is far from an exhaustive list, this is a sampling of the wealth of resources available related to the intersection of race and mental health, and how it can inform your behavioral health practice.

  • Mental Health and Wellness in a Racism Pandemic – President Obama joined Congressman John Lewis; Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson; Writer and Survivor of Police Brutality, Leon Ford, Jr.; and Youth Leader, LeQuan Muhammad, in a conversation moderated by Activist and Author, Darnell Moore to discuss the emotional and mental toll racism takes on people of color.
  • Racial Trauma Toolkit – In this era of having witnessed multiple police killings of African Americans either directly or vicariously through media, communities of Color may experience post trauma symptoms. The Boston College Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture has released a toolkit for managing symptoms, which is available as a free download.
  • Black Mental Wellness – The mission of Black Mental Wellness is to provide access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective, to highlight and increase the diversity of mental health professionals, and to decrease the mental stigma in the Black community. The website shares culturally-sensitive educational resources on mental health conditions, coping and wellness, and other mental health related topics.
  • Stress & Trauma Toolkit for Treating African Americans in a Changing Political and Social Environment – Both overt and covert acts of racism influence the psyche of African Americans. This toolkit offers assessment and treatment recommendations, and additional resources for providers to deepen their understanding of treating stress and trauma in today’s changing environment.
  • There’s a lot of pain, righteous anger, and sorrow permeating our lives right now. This is a moment that is asking much of all of us . . . Mindfulness equips us for these moments.” – Rhonda Magee, a law professor whose research focuses on social justice and inclusivity, shared in an interview on the Point of View podcast that the same mindfulness practices that transform problematic habits and thought patterns can help us tune in to the subtle ways that society cultivates barriers. Read the text of the full interview here.
  • If you haven’t done so already, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s recent op-ed in the LA Times regarding the wave of protests spreading across the country is a must-read.

Virginia-Specific Stress-Relief Resources

Looking for more COVID-19 resources? See our resource page here.