During a pandemic, it’s not uncommon to experience strong emotions. Psychology helps us to understand normal responses to abnormal events - this can help Albertans cope. Novel and unfamiliar threats provoke anxiety and even unrealistic fears and racism. Social distancing, effective communications, and public health measures are realistic lines of defense.
Stay informed - not overloaded. With major news events, media inundates us with coverage and potential implications - that can create additional stress. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Framing risk with clear facts helps quell panic. Alberta Health Services, the World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada, and the US Center for Disease Control are all reliable information sources. Minimize unnecessary exposure to stories or gossip about the pandemic.
Stay healthy - A healthy lifestyle is your best defense against disease. Physical health has positive impacts on psychological health (and vice versa). Social distancing and good personal hygiene will keep you and others safe.
Manage your own stress
When to seek professional help
Psychologists are trained to help people find constructive way of dealing with anxiety and emotional stress. Contact a psychologist if:
When someone has COVID-19: nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/disasters/pandemic-resources
Communications during a pandemic: apa.org/monitor/mar06/communication
Responding to coverage: apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics
The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta is the voice of, and for, psychology in Alberta. They are the voluntary body that advocates for psychology in Alberta, informs the public and the media, and advocates for consumers of psychotherapy, psychological, and mental health services. For more information, visit psychologistsassociation.ab.ca.
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