LIVINGSTON, NJ — Although Mental Health Awareness Month officially ended on Sunday, the Livingston Health Department recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak “has been universally stressful” and that it is “as important as ever” for residents to take care of heir mental health.

According to the LHD, the longer-term nature of the outbreak “has meant significant changes to long-held routines and behaviors.” In addition to the fact that the word “pandemic” itself creates anxiety, the LHD also noted that “many are struggling to find balance” with the added stress of certain protocols such as needing to wear masks in public and to continuing to stay apart from friends and relatives.

“Certainly during the pandemic, these stay-at-home orders have affected different people in different ways, so it’s critical to also have resources available to people who have been impacted mentally, but I also think mental health awareness is a 12-month a year, 365-day issue,” said Mayor Rudy Fernandez. “It’s important today, it was important yesterday and it’ll be important tomorrow. Whether it’s January, June or December of any particular year, it’s incredibly important that we have these resources available to anybody that may need them.”

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In order to help Livingston residents reduce stress levels, support their own mental health and help their families to do the same, the LHD recently shared various resources

Resources for Children and Families

The following are free, downloadable resources to help parents communicate with kids about COVID-19.

Bereavement Support Groups

The following resources have been established for those who have experienced the death of a loved one during the pandemic.

Resources for Living with Existing Mental Illness

The following resources were shared for those living with existing mental illness who may find their conditions worsening during this time.

The health department also provided the following links for additional resources.

More information and resources for all individuals, including children and veterans, who are in crisis situations or experiencing stress can be found here.

Anyone who is or knows someone in crisis is urged to call 9-1-1, text 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line, or call/text one of the lines listed here.