The Steve Fund is aware of the impact that COVID-19 (coronavirus) is having on the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color, including adolescents, college students, and young adults and their families. As our nation confronts this public health crisis, The Steve Fund is sharing information and tips to help young people and their caregivers cope and remain grounded in the midst of the challenge that coronavirus presents to our entire society.
Various measures are being employed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. On an individual level, people can wash their hands frequently, refrain from touching their faces, avoid contact with sick people, and stay away from large gatherings to reduce their risk. Community leaders are quarantining people who have been exposed to or who test positive for coronavirus and cancelling events that bring together large numbers of people. Closure of schools, colleges and universities and the transition to online learning will have a significant effect on students’ educational experiences, lifestyles, routines, and access to resources.
Given all of these changes, it is understandable that young people are expressing feelings of uncertainty, worry, fear, confusion, and disappointment. The Steve Fund sees value in a public health approach to coronavirus and encourages young people and their families to take preventive measures and prepare themselves to be resilient during this trying time. These are examples of adapting to change and coping with stress which are important aspects of mental health. The following is a list of things young people and their families can do:
- Create a sense of safety for yourself through a prevention approach. Keep your hands clean using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Choose a hands-free greeting instead of a handshake.
- Engage in self-care such as getting plenty of sleep. This will help you stay calm and grounded.
- Reduce media exposure if you find yourself on information overload which can trigger anxiety.
- Think of others. Focus on sharing information or resources with your fellow students, neighbors and friends who might need assistance with obtaining food and housing.
- Stay connected with people and keep in touch with your networks. Let people in your support system know if you need help. To access a culturally trained Crisis Text Line counselor, Text STEVE to 741741.
- Remain reality based on coronavirus using trusted sources of accurate, up-to-date information such as:
The Steve Fund team wishes you and your family safety and calm during this difficult period and looks forward to the resolution of this crisis and a healthy future for our nation.