COVID-19: Mental Health and Substance Use

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused New Yorkers stress, burnout and anxiety. As you continue to protect your health and community, it is also important to protect your mental health and to be mindful of your alcohol and substance use.

During this ongoing period of uncertainty, we all can feel overwhelmed sometimes. There are tools and support available to help you cope.

Daily Coping Tips

  • Know how stress, trauma and grief can affect how you feel:
    • Physical: Fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat and worsening of preexisting medical conditions
    • Emotional: Feelings of sadness, despair, anxiety, anger and irritability
    • Mental: Confusion, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating or making decisions
    • Behavioral: Not acting like one’s self, restlessness, argumentative and changes in eating, sleeping and substance use

  • Focus on the parts of life within your control. Keep to your routines, wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

  • Stay connected with supportive people and communities around you.

  • Remind yourself of your strengths and how you have managed other challenging situations.

  • Download emotional support apps that can provide tools and information to help you cope.

  • To speak with a trained professional who can provide support and referrals for care, contact NYC Well or NY Project Hope.

Stress, Anxiety, Grief and Trauma

The below resources can help you ease the effects of stress and trauma.

Stress, Anxiety, Grief and Trauma Resources

Alcohol and Substance Use

Stressful events can affect the way people use substances.

People may be using alcohol and other substances to cope with trauma, grief, loss in income or boredom resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. There may also be a greater risk of overdose among people who use drugs, especially those who use heroin or other opioids.

Our resources below include strategies to help you be mindful of your use and avoid negative health effects, including overdose, during the pandemic.

Alcohol and Substance Use Resources

Suicide Prevention

Physical distancing may be harder for people who struggle with thoughts of suicide.

If you know someone who might be thinking about suicide, ask and listen. Do not be afraid to talk about suicide directly. If you or someone you know are thinking about suicide, reach out for support.

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of hurting themselves or in immediate danger, call 911.

Suicide Resources