Coronavirus Guide from NAMI
Considering the news regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAMI released the following information.
As of 3/20/2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), notes the following in terms of risk assessment:
- The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states.
- People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.
- Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location. The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to several countries. Before traveling, consult travel guidance from the CDC.
NAMI Offers These Tips For People With Mental Illness:
- For anyone who is unsure about attending therapy sessions outside the home, especially those who the CDC has described as being at higher risk, you can ask your health care provider about tele-therapy or mental health services online.
- For anyone who is worried about access to prescribed medications, you can ask your health care provider about getting 90-day supplies vs. a 60 or 30-day supply. If this is not possible, we encourage you to refill your medications as soon as they are allowed.Note: If healthcare providers deny/decline making accommodations, challenge the decisions at least three times. Decision-makers on making health plan adjustments may change if/as conditions worsen.
- Listen to and follow your local public health care provider expectations.
- Provide self-care, especially if in the higher risk population as defined by the CDC. Pay attention to emerging symptoms. Reach out to family and friends.
The NAMI HelpLine Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide may be helpful if you have additional questions or concerns.