Mental and Physical Health

Mental Health

Mental Health Support

Do you need to talk to someone immediately? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24/7 helpline with multilingual crisis support services. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

NIMH created a website providing information on how to support mental health during the coronavirus. Dr. Gordon, the Director of NIMH also participated in a HHS video on mental health and the coronavirus titled “Five Things About Staying Mentally Healthy During the COVID-19 Outbreak.”

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published a guide for parents/caregivers to help families cope with COVID-19, including tactics to reduce stress and help calm likely anxieties.

Stress and uncertainty can be especially difficult for children and adults with autism. UNC’s Autism Research Center is hosting a free educational webinar on Thursday, April 23rd at 10:30am EST with faculty experts Laura Klinger and Kara Hume, “Supporting Individuals with Autism during COVID-19.” They will discuss strategies for supporting people with ASD and take audience questions. To register click here.


Anxiety

The Autism Science Foundation’s podcast, hosted by ASF CSO Dr. Alycia Halladay, has great tips for handling your child’s crisis-related anxiety. You can listen here.

Mental Health America has created a toolkit for managing anxiety and mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.

MIND Institute Facebook Live presentation  provides useful advice on how to deal with anxiety in autism in situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Wood, clinical child psychologist and Associate Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA provides CBT based advice for managing you and your child’s anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.


NORD

The National Organization on Rare Disorders hosted a webinar presented by the worlds leading pediatricians focusing on infectious diseases on strategies for coping, staying healthy and reducing anxiety during this uncertain period. It is perfect for patients, caregivers, advocates and the general public. Watch the recorded webinar here.


Physical Health

WHO published a report outlining protective measures and actions that can be taken to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on those with disabilities.

Stony Brook University has designed a COVID-19 Disability Form, per state, for individuals to bring with them to the ER when accompanying a person with IDD. The goal is for the form to be completed proactively prior to seeking medical attention for COVID-19 symptoms at a hospital. Having this form will help to alert ER staff to the preferred communication with the patient with IDD and his/her needs and wishes.

The California State Disability Council has published safety tips developed by people with ASD.  They include how to stay healthy, what to do if I think I am sick, or if I get sick, and what to do if a caregiver gets sick.  You can access all four here.


Hospitalization and ER Visits

Need to go to the ER for a reason related to ASD or a co-occurring condition? Experts and parents collaborated on a list of recommendations based on the current situation.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Erin Lopes provides guidance on what to do if your family member with autism is diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalized.


Epilepsy

Infectious disease expert Dr. Stanley Plotkin says epilepsy does not increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus, nor does it add additional risk to someone who is diagnosed.

DEE-P Connections, in conjunction with International Foundation for CDKL5 Research-IFCR and Epilepsy Foundation of America, hosted a webinar titled “Protecting Medically Complex and/or Immune-Suppressed Children with Epilepsy from COVID-19.” View the webinar here:
https://www.deepconnections.net/upcoming-webinars

The Epilepsy Foundation hosted a Facebook live with Patty Osborne Shafer, RN, MN, Jacqueline French, MD and Elaine Wirrell, MD. A Facebook live in Spanish aired on Thursday, March 19, at 8 p.m. ET with Angel Hernandez, MD and Joe Sirven, MD who answered questions from their Spanish-speaking community.

CURE hosted a Facebook live stream on COVID-19 with neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, neuroimmunologist Dr. Michael Carrithers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and pediatric neurologist Dr. Douglas R. Nordli from UChicago Medicine.


Treatments

Amy S.F. Lutz, President and Co-founder of EASI Foundation, shares how new COVID-19 policies can harm the most vulnerable.


Telehealth

The MSU Autism Lab hosted a webinar providing an overview on how to parent coach via telehealth. You can watch the recorded webinar here.


Adults with Autism

Scott Badesch, ASF Board Member and Former President, Autism Society of America shares how COVID-19 has changed his thinking about Opportunities for People with Autism.

The Washington Post published an article on the unprecedented fear parents of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have during COVID-19.

The Administration for Community Living offered guidance for older adults and people with disabilities, such as information on increased risk, how to prevent illness, and resources from partner agencies.