Covid 19

Emotional Health and Well-Being FAQ

Why am I feeling anxious? 

It’s normal and human to feel anxious right now. COVID-19 presents a risk to human health and the way we live – your brain and your body are responding to that risk like they’re supposed to! It’s what’s sometimes called the “fight-or-flight” response – your body knows you might not be safe and it’s gearing you up to respond. 

Unfortunately, that ‘fight-or-flight’ response doesn’t have anywhere to go right now – we’re not yet able to fight the virus and we have to respond to it not by fleeing but by staying at home. That means your brain has geared you up for battle, filling your tank with energy and adrenaline, and you’ve got nowhere to put it. Not being able to control so many things all at once causes distress. It’s natural and understandable.

What can I do right now to reduce stress and anxiety? 

The UVM Health Network has released a variety of information on how to manage feelings of worry, and create a more positive mindset. Here's a list of articles that may be of use:

What mental health services are available in Burlington/Chittenden County? 

The Howard Center is available and handling many services remotely. For regular information or inquiries please call 802-488-6000 for their mainline.

First Call for Chittenden County, their confidential crisis hotline, serves clients and the community regardless of age or diagnosis at 802-488-7777. First Call is a 24-hour, 7-day-per-week emergency service for anyone in Chittenden County experiencing a crisis. There is no wrong reason to call. Your reason for calling may be as simple as requesting an appointment with a mental health specialist or more urgent, such as getting help for a loved one who is experiencing serious emotional distress. People may call because they are:

  • Experiencing overwhelming emotions
  • Thinking about harming themselves
  • Thinking about harming others
  • Worried about their own safety or others
  • Hearing voices

The Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) also offer counseling services and are currently accepting new health and counseling patients. Counseling for both adults and children are offered on a sliding fee scale, and they also accept any insurance, so anyone of any income status can access the resources they need to maintain their physical and emotional well-being. Please visit their website to see more information or call 802-864-6309 for assistance. Most visits are currently being conducted virtually. Interpreter services are also available to those interested in seeking counseling.  

Besides the Howard Center & CHCB, we also have a list dedicated to resources on a local, state and national level. As always, for a medical emergency please dial 9-1-1 to get assistance as soon as possible.    

If I call the local crisis hotline, what will happen? 

After calling First Call for Chittenden County, you will be connected to a member of the team trained in assessing and handling distress and crisis. The team member will speak with you about the reason you called and help you assess what the best next steps are going forward. This could be further phone support, a referral to a specialist, intervention, or an in-person assessment. However, this is a collaborative decision that will be made and agreed upon by both the caller and the team member. 

A First Call team member will not show up at your home or call the police without your permission. However, there are three instances in which a First Call team member is mandated to take action without your permission:

  • If the caller expresses that they are about to cause harm to themselves
  • If the caller expresses that they are about to cause harm to others, or
  • If the caller discloses child abuse is going on in their home.

Disclosing previous self-harm or an urge to self-harm will not warrant a First Call team member to take action. 

What services are available for alcohol and drug recovery?

Turning Point Center of Chittenden County is available to support you in your recovery. They offer a variety of services such as peer support, recovery coaching, employment consulting, family support, a moms in recovery program and community yoga. Please visit their website to see all of the resources available or call 802-861-3150 between 9am-5pm for assistance. 

VT Helplink is a great resource that offers information on the various programs within Vermont. They also offer phone and online chat consultations to provide you with the resources that best match your needs. Call 802-565-LINK to be connected with support services. 

Any other advice on general well-being? 
Check out the following articles from UVM Health: