The outbreak of infectious diseases such as the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be a stressful time for individuals and communities. It is not uncommon to feel anxious or worried while listening, reading or watching the news.  While it’s necessary to keep up-to-date and make changes to daily life in order to help control the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the constant news cycle coupled with social distancing measures can have a real impact on mental health.

 It’s important during times like these to monitor your own physical and mental health, as well as safely stay connected to your community. Know the signs of stress and when and how to seek help for yourself, as well as loved ones.

Covered California

  • Now, more than ever, it is important that people have health insurance. As a result of COVID-19, Covered California, California’s Health Insurance Marketplace has expanded its enrollment period, beyond the most recent March 31st deadline.
  • Anyone with internet access can shop and compare plans or complete their own enrollment on
    • Enrollment will now be open through June 30, 2020.
    • All medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 are free of charge for all California’s insured
    • All health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California offer telehealth options.
  • Help is also available through many local insurance brokers, as well as Certified Enrollment Counselors at the County Health Agency at 805-781-4838.
 Resources for Families, Parents, and Caregivers
 Online Support
  •  7 Cups: "free virtual counseling" through the form of volunteer listeners online. Users can remain anonymous, and "listeners" are available 24/7. They also offer professional therapy, which is about $150/month. There are a variety of virtual support groups offered online as well.
  • Headspace: a free virtual program focused on alleviating anxiety in the face of the challenges we are experiencing during this time. Visit their website or download the app to learn more about the content they have curated to help.
  • The Tribe Wellness Community: free, online peer support network that gives members facing mental health challenges and/or difficult family dynamics a safe place to connect.
  • For Like Minds: an online mental health support network that allows for individuals to connect with others who are experiencing stressful life events.
  • 18 Percent: free, peer-to-peer online support community for those struggling with a wide range of mental health issues. 
 Emotional Support and Wellness
  • We know that human connection is one of the most critical protective factors for good mental health. But how can we stay in connection while still following medical guidance to limit your exposure to others?  Community isn’t just about proximity, it’s first and foremost a mindset about who we consider to be “our own.” In the face of social distancing, remember that we all need one another -- maybe more than ever -- to get through difficult times like these. Staying emotionally connected as a community even if we temporarily become more physically isolated is critical to all our mental health.  Learn more at Community Connections in Times of Physical Separation.
 Mindful Meditation and Yoga
 Miscellaneous Resources

If you need someone to talk to, there are many options:

 SLO Behavioral Health Access Line: 800-838-1381

  • Behavioral Health Department is part of the Health Agency and works in collaboration with the community to provide services necessary to improve and maintain the health and safety of individuals and families affected by mental illness and/or substance abuse. Services are M-F 8am-5pm. Our phone lines may be very busy at first; please be patient and be assured that a staff member will return your call.
 Central Coast Hotline : 800-783-0607
  • SLO Hotline is a confidential mental health support, crisis, and suicide prevention telephone line which also provides mental health resource information. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Free of charge. Make the call, anytime.
Stand Strong 24 Hour Crisis Line: (805) 781-6400 -24/7 support
  • Formerly known as the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County, Stand Strong supports survivors and end domestic violence in San Luis Obispo County. ​If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Ask for an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) when the police arrive.​ If you are not in immediate danger and would like to talk to a trained crisis counselor, or if you are interested in information about your options, call our 24-hour Crisis & Information Line at (805) 781-6400. This line is staffed around the clock by crisis counselors who will listen, help you make a plan, direct you to resources, or connect you to the Emergency Safe House if needed.​ If you are concerned about a friend or family member, you can call the crisis line as well. The crisis counselor will discuss your options and direct you to resources for your loved one.​
  • Stand Strong Website
CalHOPE: (833) 317-HOPE
The CalHOPE website has resources to support people experiencing stress from the pandemic as well as the current wildfires. The CalHOPE Warmline is live and answering calls – telephone or text. (833) 317-HOPE (4673). Assistance is available in many languages.  Website:

 Warm Line: 855-845-7415
  • Provides free, non-emergency support and referrals to California residents via the toll-free line at 855-845-7415. “Loneliness and social isolation have a tremendously negative impact on health and can even lead to premature death. The Peer-Run Warm Line helps to create a connection an reduce the human toll of social isolation. This is meant to be used BEFORE an individual reaches a crisis point.
 Friendship Line: 800-971-0016
  • Institute on Aging’s (IOA) 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. IOA’s Friendship Line offers to respond to the public health problem of suicide among the elderly
 National Suicide Prevention/Mental Health Lifelines:  
  • Provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. 24/7
  • English: 1-800-273-8255
  • Spanish: 1-888-628-9454
  • For Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
  • For Veterans: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
 SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Line 
  •  1-800-985-5990 or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746

 Teen Line: Text "TEEN" to 839863

  •  Open every night of the week  between 6:00pm-9:00pm PST Person teen-to-teen education and support.
 RISE Crisis Line: 855-886-RISE (7473) -24/7 support
  • RISE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones. All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English.
  • RISE website
 The Disaster Distress Helpline
  •  A 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1.800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

SLO Behavioral Health is concerned about your physical health as well as your behavioral health. Please contact our access line at 1 (800) 838-1381 for information or to schedule an appointment. All services are available in Spanish.