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ABCT Statement on COVID-19
Our understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving. As news of the virus spreading globally and within our local communities continues, we at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies want to reassure you that concern and worry are normal and adaptive during a pandemic. Many of us are concerned about our health and that of our loved ones, especially those of us with older and possibly vulnerable family and friends. It is understandable to be concerned about our jobs and financial situation, particularly if the current outbreak continues for weeks or months.
Knowing how the virus spreads and how to protect ourselves and our loved ones can help us feel empowered and prepared to deal with the situation. It is easy to quickly become overwhelmed by conflicting and, at times, frightening information. Consuming too much news, in whatever medium, can sometimes do more harm than good. Consider choosing one or two reliable sources of health information (see below for suggestions from the CDC), and limiting the time you spend reading news each day. Follow recommended public health strategies (e.g., hand washing, staying home if sick, social distancing), and employ healthy coping strategies, such as exercising, connecting with loved ones (even virtually), and engaging in positive, productive activities. Remember that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the best known and most scientifically supported therapy for anxiety. If you need additional ideas for managing anxiety and stress during this challenging time, check out the links below.
For those of us with young children, it is important to address questions and concerns children may have in an age-appropriate way without increasing anxiety. Reassure children that worry is normal when news of a disease emerges. For very young children, a useful approach to facilitate discussion is play and drawing; with tweens and teens a conversation is best. Reassure children that COVID-19 appears to be mild in children. If you need guidance see our links below
There are also tips on dealing with anxiety in this anxiety-provoking time.