How To Help Your Patients Manage COVID-19 Stress
By David Doolittle

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Uncertainty, isolation, strained finances and resources.

Those are some of the issues many of your patients might be feeling as the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders continue across the state and nation.

As a physician, what can you do to check on your patients’ mental well-being during COVID-19, even if you’re not a behavioral health specialist?

A new frequently-asked questions (FAQ) document and podcast published by the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force provide answers to many questions you might have, including:

  • What tips can I keep in mind for discussing mental health with patients?
  • What physical factors should I pay attention to that could potentially indicate a behavioral health concern?
  • If I detect patients might be in mental distress and they are not in immediate danger, what can I do next?
  • What if I identify a patient is in immediate mental crisis or could be in danger?

The FAQ also lists phone numbers and hotlines that are available 24 hours each day for patients in crisis, as well as apps and other resources that can help ease stress.

The podcast features Valerie Borum Smith, MD, co-chair of TMA’s Subcommittee on Behavioral Health. It is accredited for 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

You can find both the FAQ and podcast on TMA’s COVID-19 resource page, which is regularly updated with new information, tools, and resources.

Last Updated On

April 22, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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