Mental Health and Wellness

If you need to talk to someone immediately about your stress and anxiety, you can call the County’s 24/7 Crisis Center at 240-777-4000.  EveryMind also has a 24/7 hotline available which you can call or text at 301-738-2255.


Wellness Community Events

Join mental health experts and community partners for online conversations about mental health and wellness issues affecting the community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The series is called Wellness Community Events: Healing and Holding On - One Conversation at a Time for the Community.

Sessions are free and open to the public. You do not need to register.

Watch sessions livestreamed on Facebook and County Cable Montgomery.

For more information, email hhsmail@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Past sessions

Schedule


Self-care flyers

How to Improve Coping Skills

Here are some ways to build the resilience to deal with whatever life throws at you.

Problem solve

Try problem-solving. Work out what you need to do.  Talk to people and think about taking practical steps, such as finding a support group.

Keep calm

Try to regulate your emotions, for example by staying calm.  Learn how to keep yourself physically calm and you will be better equipped to cope.

  • Keep your breathing relaxed and deep to help control anxiety. When we feel anxious, our breathing often becomes quick and shallow. Inhale through your nose and breathe deeply into and out of your belly (not your chest).
  • Stay physically relaxed. Exercise, warm baths, and stretching are good ways to reduce muscle tension.
  • Maintain a positive attitude when times are tough by visualizing or thinking about something relaxing. Take a few moments to imagine a favorite place, floating in the sea or lying in bed, and you will switch into a calmer physical state.

Develop insight

What happened? How did it affect you? Why did other people behave the way they did? How do you feel about it? What other factors contributed to what happened? People who ask themselves penetrating questions and give honest answers tend to bounce back quicker.

Use humor

See the funny side and you will cope with the situation better.  A good sense of humor is a great inner strength.

Be realistic

Another strategy which can help is to write down the worst possible result on one side of a piece of paper, and the best possible result on the other. End by writing down in the middle of the paper the real likely outcome.

Get support

Resilient people tend to have strong family support systems and they seek and receive help from others when they need it (a friend, a spouse or family member, or a neighbor). Don’t be ashamed to talk about your problems and get help.

Don't look for blame

Some people make the mistake of blaming themselves and thinking that what has gone wrong was entirely their fault. They then feel guilty and worthless and give up on things.  Other people make the mistake of blaming everything that goes wrong on somebody else. This makes them feel out of control, angry and unable to take charge of their own lives.
Resilient people do not blame themselves for everything that goes wrong or blame everyone else. They take responsibility for their own part in it.
If you are blaming yourself, ask "How did other people contribute to this problem?” When you are blaming others, think "How did I contribute to the problem?” This can help you see your situation more realistically.

Do something

Resilience grows by making something worthwhile out of painful times. Starting a support group to help others or making something creative out of bad experiences such as writing down what has happened can help you express pain and get through hard times. Painting or singing are also creative alternatives of expression.

If you are in immediate need of talking to someone about your stress and anxiety, you can call the County’s 24/7 Crisis Center at 240-777-4000. EveryMind also has a 24/7 hotline available at 301-738-2255.
Program Phone TTY
Abused Persons Program (24/7 crisis line) 240-777-4210 Call MD Relay 711
Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (24/7 crisis line) 240-777-4357 Call MD Relay 711
Adult Abuse & Neglect 2/4 Reporting Line 240-777-3000 Call MD Relay 711
Child Abuse & Neglect 24/7 Reporting Line 240-777-4417 Call MD Relay 711

In addressing mental health needs, it is important to stick to the facts. This is especially true during the current crisis. See below to find more information that may be helpful for you.

For Children

We know that the current COVID-19 crisis has been especially stressful for children. Their routines have changed and that can add anxiety onto an already stressful period.

These resources provide information and tools to let them – and their parents – know that we will get through this together:

For Teens

For Adults

The relentless cycle of round-the-clock news and information can fuel anxiety for adults. Consecutive weeks of social distancing and disrupted routines can also be taxing for adults who are taking care of children and older adults. That puts self-care at a greater premium.

Tips for tackling anxiety

  • Take a walk or get some exercise. While it may be more challenging now that  we are being asked to stay away from others as much as possible and practice social distancing, it’s important to keep our bodies moving.  Exercise can help us reduce anxiety by raising the level of endorphins (chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and improve our ability to sleep, which in turn can reduce stress and anxiety).
  • Take a time out. Practice yoga, meditate, listen to music, or learn some relaxation techniques.
  • Eat well-balanced meal. Do not skip meals and try to limit junk food as much as possible.  Keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family members you’re feeling overwhelmed and let them know how they can help you. 

ACCESS to Behavioral Health

Montgomery County's ACCESS program provides assessment and linkages for low-income persons of all ages living in Montgomery County who have no commercial insurance and who are in need of services for major mental health and/or substance abuse problems. Learn more about ACCESS or call 240-777-1770.

It provides

  • in-person or telephone clinical assessment and financial screening and referral for public services;
  • consultation to assist agencies/programs in planning for clients with mental heath and/or substance abuse needs;
  • and information about mental health services in Montgomery County.

Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Your Children

Taking Care of Older Adults

For Seniors

While the COVID-19 virus poses heightened risks for our growing senior community, that does not mean we should stop finding ways for them to stay connected with friends, family, and neighbors.  Below are links to help.

For First Responders

Our first responders are some of the local superheroes on the front lines of fighting back against the spread of this virus.  This does not mean that they are not human.  Below is information on how our first responders can practice self-care in what is a high-stress time.

For Individuals with Disabilities

No one should feel like they must weather this pandemic alone.  This is especially true for individuals with disabilities, as the virus can pose additional risks and anxieties.  The links below provide key information for those with special needs.

For Individuals in Recovery

For people in recovery, getting through a normal day can be challenging.  Add onto that a pandemic and canceled in-person support meetings, and that can make recovery feel even more challenging.  Stay connected to support groups by using the links below to find a virtual meeting that works for you.

For Our Diverse Communities

Montgomery County’s strength lies in its diversity. All our communities, regardless of ethnicity, can play a role in getting the word out about the facts of COVID-19. Below are facts sheets that can be easily shared.

For Our Faith Communities

Our diverse faith communities play a key role in building and maintaining community. Below is guidance for how to continue their mission in a time of social distancing.

Maryland Department of Health Mental Health Guide

The Maryland Department of Health has produced a comprehensive, shareable guide (PDF) on how to maintain mental health, broken down by sub-group.

Other resources