Mental Health During Lockdown

Coronovirus Mental Health

Resources Sharing Here As We Learn of Online Go-To Help

Western Center on Law and Poverty – website
Covid-19 Information, Response, and Considerations

Benefits for Workers Impacted by Covid-19
What employees are entitled to may be confusing. 
The purpose of this information is to make it easier to understand
what resources may be available.

Facing A Pay Cut Due to the Coronavirus Shutdown? 
May 13 2020
“The lesson of the Great Recession is still fresh in enough minds. People know, if you lose your job, you’re in big trouble,” Spriggs says. “Firms are trying to hoard cash, and workers are now becoming the piggy bank for some of them. They’re shaking the money out of their workers to try and find places to get the cash because it’s harder to shake it out of their customers.”

How to survive a pay cut or reduced work hours.
Find ways to cut back on spending and expenses.
Brush up on your skills to stay competitive.
This could be a long recovery.

Unemployment Impacts

Considering, as the news reports, over 40% of low income people are unemployed now.
(May 2020).   The health impacts on this situation are HUGE.

Apologies for this chart details being blurry, but I think you get the point.

Heart Failure
Death of Children
Death by Disease
Violence – Including Domestic Violence

I received this email.  Thought it would be good to share.
We need to care for our health during this time of lockdown.
This letter, from a county government official lists a good many resources
especially for Mental Health care. 

Though these resources are for the San Francisco Bay Area, CA area
Perhaps the types of resources listed will help you find similar needed services
in your area. 

Be well and strong during this time, and at all times.

April 10 2020
Dear Friend,

Thank you to all the North Bay residents who were able to participate in our first tele-town hall this week discussing tools to support our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were fortunate to have Dr. Jei Africa, Director of Marin County’s Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services as our guest speaker and provide families with important resources to support the mental health needs of our loved ones and ourselves.

If you were unable to participate, I have posted an audio recording of the town hall on my website along with a number of resources that were discussed to support you and your family during this time.

Please visit: for more information.

Now more than ever, it is important to recognize that protecting our mental health is as important as protecting our physical health. There are a number of resources available to support us. Please use and share this information with your friends and neighbors.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at (800) 273-8255

El Linea Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio es (888) 628-9594

Marin County, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services offers prevention and early intervention, suicide prevention and crisis services to all residents of Marin County.

The Marin County Crisis Stabilization Unit can be reached at (415) 473-6666

Marin County’s Mental Health and Substance Use Access and Assessment can be reached at (888) 818-1115 

Sonoma County offers a range of mental health and substance abuse support services to all residents of Sonoma County.

The Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit can be reached at (707) 576-8181

The North Bay Suicide Prevention Hotline of Sonoma County (855) 587-6373

The California Peer-Run Warm line provides free, non-emergency support and mental health referrals to California residents 24/7. They can be reached at (855) 845-7415.

The Centers for Disease Control offer resources to Manage Anxiety & Stress

The Centers for Disease Control offers resources on Helping Children Cope with Emergencies

The World Health Organization offers resources on Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak

The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers resources on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources

NAMI California offers resources on Coronavirus Updates: Mental health guidance, public health news and resources

Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers resources on How to Talk to Your Anxious Child or Teen about Coronavirus

National Public Radio recently published Just for Kids: A Comic exploring the new Coronavirus

I have also received a number of emails from constituents sharing resources that were helpful to them and could be helpful to others. At a time like this, it was heartening to see so many of our neighbors wanting to offer tools and support for other families. Thank you!

Here are a few of the resources offered by other constituents:

Three Tips from a Therapist for Calming Your Coronavirus Anxiety published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Wellify Teen, a Marin County nonprofit dedicated to supporting parents of teens with mental health struggles, has compiled listings of local mental health organizations and private practice therapists providing teletherapy on a sliding scale. Sliding scale fees help to make mental health care more accessible to all. A sliding scale is a flexible fee structure, tailored to your financial ability to pay. 

The COVID19 Pro Bono Counseling Project is devoted to helping front-line healthcare workers impacted by COVID19 by providing free short-term tele-counseling during the COVID19 crisis.

Please note that this website is for therapists and front-line healthcare workers in the Bay Area only. Pro bono counseling services are at exceptionally high demand. If you are able to access and pay for non-pro bono care, please consider doing so.

I know that this is an extremely stressful time for you and your loved ones. It is important to know that while we are all practicing physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that does not mean that we should limit our social connections. Technology is a great tool to keep us connected. Call, facetime, email, join an online group, or go low tech and write someone a letter. Use this time to connect with those you care about and let them know that they are not alone.

Your mental health is important to your overall health. Remember to:

  • Take care of yourself.
  • Maintain a daily schedule and routine.
  • Try your best to eat healthy.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
  • While staying up to date on the news is important, give yourself a break from the constant flow of information.
  • Take time every day to turn the tv off and put your phone down.
  • If you can, take a walk or give yourself a few minutes to sit in your yard or patio.

Most importantly, know that you are not alone during this crisis. My staff and I are working around the clock to make sure that residents across the North Bay are receiving the support and services you need.

Stay safe and be well,



These are unprecedented times. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic poses a massive threat to our community’s health and well-being, to our economy and to our way of life. We must confront it with firm and resolute steps to slow the virus’ spread.

Success will define us, failure will destroy us. These are frightening words, but it is the reality we face. We are all in this together, and together we can determine our fate. Can we protect the health of our families and ourselves? Can we stop our healthcare system from becoming overloaded? What resources are there to protect our financial security and our homes? Here is what your government is doing:

This week, at least eight northern California counties (Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara) issued public health orders directing people to remain at home unless absolutely necessary, and to close all non-essential businesses. More counties are expected to make similar announcements in the coming days. Social isolation is critically important now to reduce the infection rate and protect our healthcare infrastructure from being overwhelmed.

We need to work together now more than ever.

All residents are directed to shelter in place and distance themselves from others until at least April 7, only leaving their homes for reasons deemed essential. North Bay residents should only leave their home for things like necessary trips to the grocery store, urgent doctor’s appointments and pharmacy visits, and helping families, friends, or others who need our help. Essential businesses will remain open, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, gas stations, and hospitals as well as public transportation. Many restaurants will remain open, but only for takeout and delivery. Daycare centers may remain open. All non-essential businesses will be closed. All non-essential gatherings of any size are also banned, along with any non-essential travel. Residents are being asked to work from home or stop work unless their work is an essential service such as health care workers, public safety, utility providers and sanitation workers. People can also go outside for exercise as long as they maintain six feet of separation from others.

Although severe, these measures are critical for slowing the spread of COVID-19, and I urge residents to adhere to these directives in the full spirit through which they were issued.

You can read more about the Marin County shelter in place order here:

I recognize that these orders will create some economic hardship, and I’m working with the governor and legislative leaders to mitigate these difficulties as much as possible. I’m committed to helping people stay in their homes, providing relief for small businesses and collaborating with essential providers like local food banks to make sure nobody goes without what they need.

On Monday, I supported a bipartisan agreement to make over a billion dollars in emergency funding available to the State of California to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement includes a billion dollar appropriation to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration to address the COVID-19 pandemic and gives the governor significant resources to both increase the capacity of our healthcare system while supporting preventative efforts to reduce transmission of the coronavirus across the state. The legislation also includes language to prepare for the long recovery period the state will likely experience after the crisis has abated and lays the groundwork to support small businesses, non-profits and individuals that experience economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I also supported legislation to waive the current Average Daily Attendance requirement in K-12 public schools for the remainder of this academic school year. As of Monday, more than 100 school districts serving more than 2 million students were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will ensure that all school districts receive their full enrollment funding for the year and makes an additional $100 million available to school districts to purchase personal protective equipment or for supplies and labor costs necessary to conduct additional deep cleaning of schoolsites.

The Legislature’s actions this week build a foundation from which California will meet this moment. We will make every resource of the State of California available to curb this pandemic and its impact on our society and economy.

For the most up to date information, please take a moment to connect with me on social media:

Additional resources can be found here:

  • State of California – This website provides a one stop resource with the latest information and resources to help you and your family during this emergency.
  • Department of Public Health – This website is updated frequently with the latest public health information on COVID-19.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles – If your driver’s license or vehicle registration is expiring within the next 60 days, the DMV is offering a 60 day grace period to limit the need to visit a DMV office.
  • Employment Development Department – The governor has waived the one week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits for those unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19. Additional information is available for employers including payroll tax assistance.
  • Franchise Tax Board – The FTB announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments to June 15, 2020, for all tax filings and payments due between March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020.
  • Property Taxes – Both Sonoma County and Marin County have updated information on property tax payments due this spring. Please click on your county’s link for the most current information.
  • Protections for Renters and Homeowners – This week, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters and slow foreclosures and protect customers from utility shutoffs. Please contact your local government (city or county) for specific protections for renters and homeowners in your community.
  • CA Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank – The California iBank can offer small businesses with a range of loan guarantee programs to provide economic support during this emergency.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric – PG&E has announced a moratorium on customer shutoffs for nonpayment.
  • Attorney General – The Attorney General is actively enforcing price gouging related to emergency and medical supplies. File a complaint.

As a father of two young children and the son of elderly parents, I know how difficult this time is for many North Bay families. We can and will get through this together.