Online Program Offers Tips for Managing Loneliness and Isolation in a Pandemic

As the pandemic continues, Iowans may feel as if the isolation and loneliness will never end. However, there are ways to make these challenging times feel as “normal” as possible and to stay connected with others while social distancing.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, will begin offering the online program, “Loneliness and Isolation in a Pandemic,” to provide education about how to manage and process these feelings.

“The COVID 19 pandemic has created a great deal of uncertainty about the future and a sense of loneliness and isolation. It is important as we navigate this time that we understand how we are feeling and recognize we have options,” said Diane Eischeid, a crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach.

“Social belonging is so important. We know we’re stronger together and there are a range of creative ways we can stay connected even when we’re apart. We will offer tips for dealing with feelings of loneliness and staying connected while social distancing and staying safe,” Eischeid said.

ISU Extension and Outreach will offer “Loneliness and Isolation in a Pandemic” during lunch hours. Each program will last for approximately one hour. Those dates and times are as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 19 at 12 noon, Central time. Register online for this session.
Thursday, Dec. 10 at 12 noon, Central time. Register online for this session.

Eischeid is leading the program along with crisis/outreach counselor Andrea Gustafson. This program is being offered at no cost to all those in the community interested in learning about this topic. To register for either date, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences//events?filter= and scroll to the program you are interested in. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program.

For more information, contact Andrea Gustafson at andreag3@iastate.edu or Diane Eischeid at dianee@iastate.edu.

Other resources
Iowa Concernoffered 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.

COVID Recovery Iowa - offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual counselors provide counseling, activities, referral information and help finding 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.

Contacts
Andrea Gustafson, crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach, andreag3@iastate.edu
Diane Eischeid, crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach, dianee@iastate.edu

Photo credit: Parten/stock.adobe.com
Original article linked here

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