Feeling Blue? Virtual Program Offers Resources for Life in a Pandemic

July 31, 2020, 10:42 am | David Brown

Stressed woman taking phone call at home by Joshua Resnick/stock.adobe.com.AMES, Iowa – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to daily life as people adjust to a new normal. But for many Iowans the pandemic also has caused loss of employment, reduced social contact and fewer connections with loved ones. This sense of loss and isolation combined with the many stresses produced by the pandemic have left people in many walks of life feeling sad, down, blue or simply lonely.  

In response to this sense of loss, sadness and isolation, COVID Recovery Iowa, in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will begin offering, “I Feel ‘Blue’: Resources for Life in a Pandemic.” This short virtual program is designed to provide education about the feelings of sadness and loss and how people can manage and overcome them. Individuals will also receive practical resources to help them navigate the strong feelings provoked by the pandemic. Opportunities for discussion will also be provided.

“I Feel ‘Blue”: Resources for Life in a Pandemic” will be available during both lunch hours and evening times to accommodate a variety of busy schedules. Each program will last for one hour. Those dates and times are as follows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 3 at 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m.

This program is being offered, at no cost, to all those interested in learning about this topic. To register, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences//events?filter= and select the program, date and time you are interested in. Registered participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program. For more information, please contact Andrea Gustafson, crisis/outreach counselor COVID Recovery Iowa, at andreag3@iastate.edu.

Other resources

COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Virtual counselors provide counseling, activities and referral information and help find resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via all social media to help Iowans build coping skills, resilience and emotional support. To request support, go to https://www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org or contact the Iowa Concern Hotline at 515-447-1985 or the Iowa Warm Line at 1-855-775-9276.  

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or, email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.

Photo credit: Joshua Resnick/stock.adobe.com

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