Tools for Combating the Effects of Social Isolation, Anxiety and Depression during COVID-19

Hello, Everyone -

I hope folks are taking time to manage the stress and anxiety that has come with the last couple of weeks.  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing all of our lives, learners and educators alike.  In the transition to even greater amounts of time spent engaging online, symptoms of isolation and depression are not uncommon. 

I'm hoping that we can share some resources here that are available to help those of us in the LINCS community who are feeling an impact on our mental health.  Wobeot is one example.  Woebot is an app that uses principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  CBT is an evidence based and widely used therapeutic approach used by psychologists around the world.  Wobeot's mission is to make "the best psychological tools radically accessible to those who need them." Wobeot is currently free to access on any app-based platform.  For more information on CBT and Wobeot, check out their website's FAQ section.

I hope those who need this support will find it and other freely accessible resources to get through this difficult time.  If you have other suggestions for virtual resources to help with mental health, please share them here.  


Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator


Several MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) providers are developing courses around managing mental health concerns in the face of COVID-19.  One example is the University of Toronto's Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19.  This is a free resource to anyone, anywhere, with access to the internet.  Below is a brief description of the course and outline for the 10 hours.  You do not need to complete the entire course.  No academic credit is awarded for completion of the course.

The intent of this course is to give you a deeper understanding of the anxiety reaction as it relates to various aspects of our current life, ranging from our consumption of news to the way we talk to our children about this. I will also give you clear strategies for managing and, in fact, turning off the anxiety response at least for short periods. My sincere hope is that you will leave this course with a better understanding of how your brain reacts to crises, along with some powerful tools for managing it before it manages you.

In this course we will cover:

1.1 Introduction and Overview

1.2 Understanding the Anxiety Response

1.3 The Necessity of Strategies to Manage Anxiety

1.4 Achieving Relaxation: A Skill We All Need to Learn Now

2.1 Why Watching the News is Addicting and How to Manage Your Consumption

2.2 The Critical Art of Mental Distraction to Crowd Out Stressors

2.3 How We Think About Physical Distancing and Explaining it to Our Children

3.1 The Effects of Isolation

3.2 Some Strategies to Make Isolation More Tolerable

3.3 The Importance of Social Connection in a Physical Distancing World

4.1 The Need to Guard Against Depression: The Importance of Control

4.2 Bring it Together: Practice Makes Proficient

4.3 Invitation to Suggest Additional Videos

Do you know other free, virtual resources for helping learners and adult educators through the challenges of social distancing and quarantine?  Please share them with us.


Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator 

COVID-19 has had a profound and unprecedented impact on all of our daily lives. Social distancing, unemployment, sudden loss, are all drastic changes that can bring, what feels like, unbearable stress and anxiety into anyone’s life.

Given the life-changing events related to or triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are suffering in silence and isolation. The Boris L. Henson Foundation (BLHF) recognizes that during this difficult time, affording the cost of mental health services can be a barrier in the African-American community. BLHF has launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign. Individuals with life-changing stressors and anxiety related to the coronavirus will have the cost for up to five (5) individual sessions defrayed on a first come, first serve basis until all funds are committed or exhausted.

Virtual Therapy Services are available here. 

If you need IMMEDIATE help, please call the National Suicide Helpline at: 1-800-273-8255