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Q: How can I manage my stress and anxiety without paying for expensive therapy?

This is an incredibly stressful time for all of us. Our lives have been turned upside down, from the COVID pandemic, to now flu and RSV, in addition to the economy, financial uncertainty, and all the pressures of life catching up to us after the last few years of “just getting through.” Not to mention, our children have also gone through immense change, and we’re responsible for making sure they’re OK too.

First, it’s important to know that help is available. If you’re employed, many employers offer an EAP, or employee assistance program. Now is the time to make use of this resource.

The state Adult Mental Health Division offers mental health services to people who are uninsured or underinsured (call 643-2643 for screening to determine if you’re eligible). And if you or someone you know is in crisis you can call or text 988 to be connected to a trained counselor at any time, day or night, through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If you need help accessing services and want to talk with someone about what programs are available for you, you can call 211 and get matched with the help you need.

Finally, don’t forget that self-care is extra important at this time. Make time to take care of your physical and mental health by eating healthy food and getting some kind of exercise. Stay connected with friends and family – chances are they’re going through a few things themselves too and can probably offer advice and support.

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious at this time, you’re not alone. By practicing self-care and reaching out for support when you need it, you’ll be able to make it through these uncertain times.