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Self Care During COVID-19

Taking care of your emotional health during COVID-19

Be kind to yourself. The pandemic affects each of us differently and that’s okay.

Taking care of our members during a pandemic means that every day we hear first-hand about their very personal experiences during this pandemic. The coronavirus affects all of our members. Some members may see it as a mere disruption to their daily lives while other members experience it as a life-altering trauma. We continue to see an increasing volume of members in need of mental health care. Mental health is real and we are here to help.

We highly encourage you to log in to your RGA member portal and review your plan’s mental health and telemedicine benefits and coverage. Many community-based mental health providers now offer therapy through telemedicine so that existing patients can continue treatment in a virtual setting.

If this is your first time exploring your therapy options, you can find in-network therapists on our member portal through three simple clicks:

  1. Click on the tile labeled 'find a doctor or hospital'
  2. Type ‘therapist’ into the search bar
  3. Check the filters on the left for ‘accepting new patients’ and if desired, ‘telehealth’

We encourage members to take advantage of EAP options that their employer may offer as a separate benefit. Most EAP programs offer 2-6 telephonic or in-person visits with licensed professionals at no additional cost to the plan or member. These services are typically available to any member living in a household, not only to members on an employer’s health plan.

We also encourage members to access mental health crisis lines such as: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.8255) 

The Washington Recovery Help Line (1.866.789.1511)

County-based crisis lines available to all residents: 


Oregon: ntion/pages/crisislines.aspx

These national mental health organizations have curated a wealth of additional information and resources:

Mental Health America (MHA) COVID-19 resource page

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) COVID-19 resource page

Helping others and getting immediate support

It’s especially important right now to reach out to friends or relatives who live alone. If you’re healthy and mobile, you can also offer to help people with grocery shopping or picking up medications.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with substance use, here are some resources to help you get immediate support:

Disaster Distress Helpline

Help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

1-800-985-5990 | TTY: 1 (800) 846-8517 | Text TalkWithUs to 66746

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

1 (800) 799-7233 | TTY: 1 (800) 787-3224 | Text LOVEIS to 22522

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

1 (800) 273-8255 | TTY: 1 (800) 799-4889

Self-care practices and resources

Take breaks from the news

Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and cause anxiety. It’s a good idea to take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media.

Treat your body well

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.

Make time to unwind

Whether it’s sitting down with a cup of tea, relaxing with a favorite book, or dipping your brush into watercolors, find some activities you enjoy. Set aside time each day to focus on them, uninterrupted.

Connect with others

Pick up the phone (or video chat) with family or friends who you trust. Open up to them about your concerns and your emotional health.

Signs you may need help

Look out for these warning signs that may mean it’s time to seek support from a professional:

  • Increased feelings of hopelessness or a negative outlook about your future
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or someone else
  • Significant difficulty concentrating or completing usual tasks such as work or family responsibilities
  • Withdrawing from people or activities that you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Eating food or drinking alcohol in amounts that could be harmful to your health.