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Mental health resources

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COVID-19 has taken a toll on mental health, leaving millions to find help or fend for themselves. Photo by Health Vectors by Vecteezy

For many of us, 2020 has introduced a plethora of challenges that have upended the status quo in ways we weren’t prepared for. 

The shelter-in-place order enacted in March, and the recent lockdown announced by Governor Gavin Newsom, means possibly saying goodbye to loved ones for an undetermined amount of time, while terms such as “work from home” and “social distancing” become the new norm. The absence of friends, family and workplace interactions leave room for anxiety, stress and depression to manifest. These heavy and intrusive emotions made this new COVID-19 lifestyle harder to navigate for millions of Americans, according to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation

Below is a collection of resources to reference if you or a loved one are experiencing any form of deteriorating mental health due to COVID-19 or otherwise.

– Cuesta College offers a variety of therapy services that can either be conducted through Zoom or phone call. Cuesta therapists also have the ability to hand out referrals if extensive treatment or specialized care is needed. 

– If immediate help is needed, use the SLO Hotline for 24/7 assistance at no cost. You can reach them at (800) 783-0607.

Here is contact information for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in SLO County. AA offers both in-person and remote meetings, making them a widely accessible option if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse.  

– For issues related to both drugs and alcohol, contact information can be found here for the San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Paso Robles, and Atascadero clinics.

– If you are struggling with or have questions regarding sexual and/or gender identity, contact Tranz Central Coast (TCC) for support. TCC offers a safe space for anyone and everyone along the gender spectrum. Meetings are currently online, but the site offers an option for anyone who is in need of immediate assistance.

– For non-local assistance with trans-related struggles, the Trans Lifeline is a great resource for contact information, petitions and links for personal legal changes (birth certificates, drivers licenses, name changes, etc.).

– If shelter-in-place has put you at a greater risk of domestic violence, contact Stand Strong (formerly the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County) for 24/7 support. If you are in immediate danger, the Stand Strong Safe House is a viable option that offers resources aside from a safe space to sleep, such as counseling services and legal assistance at no cost.