It’s understandable if we all have moments when we’re heartbroken, frustrated and scared.
In phone calls, emails, and social media, I’ve been hearing stories about people in tough situations, desperate for help. This is probably going to go on for a while. That’s why I want to share some resources that you may find useful.
What if I am struggling with my mental health?
If you need someone to talk to, here are some options:
Senior Loneliness Line: 503-200-1633
Youth Line: 877-968-8491 or Text teen2teen to 839863
Mental health crisis line: 503-988-4888.
If you're fortunate enough to have a healthcare provider, consider reaching out to them, too.
Please check in with your friends, family, loved ones and neighbors, even if you haven’t talked to them in a while. A simple “How are you doing?” can make a big difference. I have found doing this keeps my energy and mood up.
Please don’t let any self-stigma stand in the way of attending to your mental health. We need more awareness and openness around mental health issues and support options. I have benefited from counseling myself; I went to counseling when coming to terms with my sexual orientation, and it made a real difference. These are tough times. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to others.
What if I need health insurance?
You may be able to get it now when you could not before because the Oregon Health Plan was recently approved for expanded coverage.
I recently helped a family member through the Oregon Health Plan application process, which was straightforward, and now she has health insurance for the first time in years.
Here’s where you can apply: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HSD/OHP/Pages/Apply.aspx
Masks or no Masks: How do I keep up-to-date on the COVID 19 Research?
Our scientific knowledge of how to prevent and treat COVID-19 has to improve. When it does, make sure you know about it.
For example, with more research, infectious disease experts now are revisiting their existing recommendations about masks. They have not made a new recommendation, but, reportedly, it is possible that masks do not need to be hospital-grade to make some beneficial prevention difference.
You need to decide whether to take this option for yourself. But the larger point is, this pandemic and our understating of it will continue to evolve as more data becomes available. Stay alert using news sources you trust.
I’ve signed up for email updates from these COVID-19 information sources:
Oregon Health Authority (OHA)
We will get through this together by staying together, even if virtually, by taking care of ourselves and helping others do the same.
Please do not hesitate to text, call or email me with any questions or need information on additional resources. My mobile number is 503-421-8925. Take care of yourself and each other! UPDATE: Thanks to all my supporters who have joined in this campaign's holistic real-time advocacy to shape COVID-19 responses to save lives and livelihoods. Like calling for a statewide stay-at-home order, a more equitable and sustainable federal rescue package, sought eviction relief for renters, mortgage deferrals, rent relief for small businesses and mortgage relief for small commercial landlords, and better unemployment benefits.
Thanks to my supporters who made donations to nonprofit services helping vulnerable Portlanders, called for deliveries or got take out to support neighborhood jobs and small businesses, fight for frontline at-risk workers like grocery clerks and delivery people, and conducted a free legal clinic and proposed reforms to business insurance firms that are strong-arming small business policyholders.