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When Talk of a Health Crisis Hits Close to Home…

A stress response is natural; try these tips

Employee Assistance Program

During this COVID-19 pandemic, stress levels are running high. No matter how you feel, New Directions can help.

Visit → Resources → Self-help tools for the latest on COVID-19.

Try these tips if you’re feeling overwhelmed or fearful about an outbreak.

1. Don’t inflate the risk

When we hear about scary things, our brains may inflate the risk of bad things happening to us. Scientists call this response fight-flight-freeze. It’s an automatic, normal response to danger. It’s how we protect ourselves. We focus on what could go wrong and pay less attention to what’s right, ordinary and non-threatening. Remember this tendency during any crisis and you’ll respond with less fear and focus more on safe, sound solutions.

2. Take clean, healthy precautions

Like the flu, the coronavirus is spread through everyday contact: a cough, sneeze, or touch. If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re not sick, avoid close contact with people who are sick. Engage in cleaner health habits like washing your hands regularly and thoroughly. Keep a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer close by and use it often.

3. Don’t consume too much media

Scientists and public health officials are working overtime to understand the virus better. They are looking at ways to limit its impact. However, you don’t have to consume every media story to stay alert, calm and safe. If you need reliable updates, check out a government resource for the most accurate information, like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

4. Use your coping skills

In the past, when you felt anxious, how did you cope? Did you self-talk to calm your mind of irrational thoughts, or did you reach out to someone who’s really good at listening and helping you focus on the facts? Now is the time to do more of what works for you to reduce anxiety and stress.

Call the behavioral health number on the back of your insurance card to talk to a mental health professional or visit

New Directions is ready to serve you no matter the circumstances.

New Directions maintains a business continuity plan. It includes epidemic/pandemic illness procedures for its service center areas. They can also re-distribute contact center calls within minutes. New Directions uses tested protocols to designate backups for clinical care management activities. Current education and regular communication are available to members and partners. You can find them through account management, social media and web distribution channels.

Note: Members should check their health plan to verify if they have behavioral health benefits under New Directions.

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