COVID-19 and Your Mental Health | Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System

COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

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Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Are you feeling a little stressed?  Worried about what the Corona virus is going to mean to you?  It is normal to have some anxiety in the midst of all this unknown.  Human beings like the known much better than the unknown - we want to know what is happening to us and to those we love.  So how do we take care of our mental health during this time of increased stress?  There are some simple things you can do...

  • Do the basics to take care of your health
    • Good hand washing (20 seconds, use soap, wash both sides of your hands)
    • Cough into a tissue, and if you don't have a tissue available, cough into your elbow
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Stay home if you are sick (call your doctor before going in to see them)
    • Take extra precautions if you are elderly or if you are at higher risk
  • Limit the amount of time that you are watching/reading the news, and when you do, make sure you are getting your news for a reputable source
  • When talking to kids about the virus, pay attention to not only what you say, but how you say it.  If you look scared, that will scare the child - so be calm, matter of fact, be honest, and gear the information to their age level.
  • Avoid doing things like hoarding masks, toilet paper, water - it's more important to do the things listed on # 1 & 2
  • Do some healthy activities like go for a walk, or other activities that make you feel relaxed and happy.


Click on the links below for more information:


New Client Information

We are accepting new clients.  Fear, anxiety and stress can increase during this time of change and uncertainty - now more than ever it is important to pay attention to your mental health.  By providing services through telephone and televideo, we are doing everything we can to keep people physically safe while also helping take care of emotional and mental health needs.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with all that is going on, please don't wait, call us at 620-663-7595 and let us help.

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The following are links to forms that you might need to access.  To access the form, just click on the link, and you will be able to complete the form online.

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COVID-19 Health Screening Questions

Prior to your appointment, we will be asking you some health screening questions.  We are doing this to help protect your health, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.  The following are the questions you will be asked:

  • Do you currently have a fever of 100 or higher within the last 3 days?
  • Have you had a persistent cough within the last 3 days?
  • Have you been exposed to a known COVID-19 positive person or someone with a fever in the last 14 days?
  • Have you traveled to or from South Dakota on or after November 4?
  • Have you traveled to or from the countries of Belgium and Czechia?
  • Have you traveled to or from North Dakota on or after October 21?
  • Have you traveled to or from the country of Andorra on or after October 21?
  • Have you attended or traveled to mass gathering events (out-of-state) of 500 people or greater where individual do not socially distance (6 feet) and wear masks?
  • Have you been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15?

You may also be asked if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • chills
  • muscle pain or aches
  • tired
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • change in the ability to smell or taste diarrhea

We appreciate honest answers to these questions.  If you answer "yes", there is the possibility that we could make arrangements for your appointment to be provided by televideo.

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Televideo/ZOOM instructions

We are providing many of our services through televideo.  Below are instructions for connecting on Zoom.

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Information on COVID-19

The following links will take you to articles about COVID-19:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the right way to feel right now?

There is not "right" or "wrong way to feel right now.  It's normal to feel "abnormal".  It's ok to feel sad, mad, anxious or to not feel anything at all.  Just acknowledge the feeling, whatever it is.  If if begins to cause trouble with your ability to function, don't be afraid to reach out for help.

What are some signs of anxiety or depression?

Some of the most common signs of depression and anxiety include feelings of worry or dread, headaches, stomach or digestion problems, trouble with concentration, memory or being able to think clearly, increased heart rate, changes in energy, difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much, irritability, restlessness, hopelessness, being tearful, isolating, loss of interest in doing things

What are some things that can be done to decrease those symptoms?

  • realize what you can control and do those things:
  • take care of your health - eat well, get good sleep, don't drink or smoke excessively,
  • limit the number of people you come in contact with
  • wear a mask when you leave the house
  • wash your hands often
  • avoid touching your face
  • practice social distancing
  • call the doctor if you don't feel good
  • limit your intake of news, and make sure your news is from reputable sources
  • get fresh air and sunlight
  • exercise
  • create a routine
  • get up every day, shower, put on clean clothes, do your make up/hair
  • spend time with people who have a positive effect on you
  • find humor -  laugh!

What are some tips for handling isolation?

  • try to keep a schedule - a time to get up, a time to start & stop  work/school, a time for exercise
  • learn a new hobby or re-start an old one
  • schedule a video even with family/friend - have a Zoom/Facetime party
  • exercise and eat well
  • develop a self care tool kit
  • give everyone in the house some space/alone time
  • be slow to anger - give lots of Forgiveness!
  • actively look for the good - notice it, focus on it
  • remind yourself that this is short ter - it WILL end!
  • instead of focusing on the loss and fear - see this as a challenge to learn and do new things

How do I talk to my child about this?

  • deal with your own anxiety - if you are anxious your child will pick up on that
  • talk about it openly but at an age appropriate level
  • don't five more information than is requested
  • be reassuring
  • share with your child the things that you are doing to stay
  • help your child set boundaries on their information flow - make sure they are getting factual information 
  • keep checking in with kids
  • don't assume you know how they are feeling - things you think they may be upset about, they might not be (example - some high school seniors were really ok with missing Prom)

Is Horizons still seeing clients/taking new clients?

Yes!  We are sill providing all of our services (except group therapy).  We are currently providing all our our services by telephone or televideo.  New clients can usually begin services the same day they call or within a couple of days of calling.

How has Horizons adjusted its service delivery to address Covid-19?

We are now providing all of our services through telephone or televideo.

What if I don't know how to do televideo?

We have staff available to teach clients how to use the Zoom technology prior to the appointment time, so don't worry if you have never used Zoom.  Our staff will work with you until you feel comfortable with it.  

What if I have medications that I need to get through a shot?

We have set up a "drive through" shot clinic on Tuesdays.  All you need to do is park in the reserved stalls on the south side of the building and call us when you get here.  One our nurses will then come out to your vehicle to give you your shot.

What are the guidelines that need to be followed to attend a group face-to-face?

  • Social distancing must be maintain by staying no less than six feet apart at all times.
  • Each person must wear a cloth or surgical mask during the group activity or when present on Horizons Mental Health Center property.  If social distancing can be maintained during the group activity, face masks may be removed at the discretion of the group leader.
  • The service must be provided in an open, well ventilated area.
  • If the consumer is not able to maintain social distancing, the client's participation in group will be ended and the parent/guardian notified.
  • Horizons staff will not provide transportation to clients.,  You will be informed when Horizons identifies transportation services can resume.
  • Providing services in the manner listed above could compromise Horizons/ ability to maintain the confidentiality of PHI shared during the session.  Horizons will do their best to be aware of the surroundings and limit the information shared, but cannot guarantee information will not be overheard by people in the area.

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Videos from Horizons Staff on COVID-19

Take a look at look at these videos from Horizons staff with some helpful hints!

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Virtual Support Groups

In need of a Support Group?  Check out these online/Digital Resources:

Alcoholics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous

Marijuana Anonymous

Chronic Pain Anonymous

LifeRing Secular Recovery

SMART Recovery

Other Resources

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Here are links to sources for information:

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