May 1, 2020

Please Think About Your Mental Health
by Joni Pico, JSS Case Manager

People in our country are increasingly reaching out for information about how to protect their mental health during this pandemic. All we have to do is turn on the news to see that the rising rates of anxiety and depression are worrisome, and are often closer to home than we think. Some of my closest friends are sharing stories about their elderly parents on Facebook. One friend’s mom fell and broke her hip in Arizona. Her husband was prohibited from being by her side in the emergency department and after surgery. This woman’s fear of being placed in a care facility precipitated a mental health crisis that didn’t resolve until she was discharged to home with her husband.

It is useful to become aware of the warning signs of anxiety and depression, and the steps we can take when we feel overwhelmed. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides material about mental health. Their website is Type “CORONAVIRUS AND MENTAL HEALTH” into the search bar; it leads to extensive information about coping during this stressful time. The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) also offers excellent strategies for dealing with worries related to the pandemic. Their website is Their local telephone number is 608-249-7188, and their email is

Recovery Dane Information & Referral is the entry point for mental health services in Dane County. Their information and referral specialists will guide you to the mental health and/or substance use support you may need. Their telephone number is 608-237-1661 and their email is

Finally, Jewish Social Services right here in Madison is available to help you access mental health options. Please call us at 608-442-4081 or email me, Joni Pico, at

Truer words were never spoken: “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ~ Shannon L. Alder