Making time to keep up with our connections to others is an important part of getting through this pandemic. As human beings we are wired for connection. Since our early days we have used our connection to others to learn how to stay safe, understand social customs and norms and maintain physical and mental health. The mirror neurons in our brain help us to interpret actions to help us to feel safe and valued as we make eye contact with our family and friends. We see the comfort and connection in their eyes and body language which helps us understand that we are safe, valued and loved. Today this connection is more important than ever. As we continue to maintain social distancing the stress of not physically being with our friends and family might become overwhelming. We can become isolated and start to feel alone. Fortunately, we have technology available to help us see and hear our family, friends and co-workers and feel as if we are physically with them. I would encourage you to use Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Snap Chat, Face Book Messenger or any other platform that allows you to see your loved ones as you talk to them. Plan regularly scheduled times to get together this way. Reach out and check on your loved ones frequently in this way to help maintain those important connections as we continue to manage our new normal. Ready for Life is committed to maintaining these important connections to our youth and community by offering Virtual Open Office Fridays as well as Virtual Mentor/Mentee events and other virtual events for our youth. Please remember that if you are feeling alone or distressed reach out to someone in your support system or call one of the many services available to speak with a trained individual who can help walk you through your distressing feelings. Please know that you matter!!
You are important to us. Please continue to stay safe. We will get through this together!
Cecelia A. Bushery, MA, LMHC
If you are in crisis, please remember that the following services are available to speak or text with you 24/7:
NAMI 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text “NAMI” TO 741741
Family Help Line: 727-791-3434
Peer Support Help Line: 727-600-5838
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
Pinellas County Mobile Crisis Response Team: 727-362-4424
Suicide/Emergency Hotline – Pinellas County: 727-791-3131
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (for financial, mental health or domestic violence issues): Dial 211
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
24 HOUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: (727) 895-4912 | TTY: (727) 828-1269
OUTSIDE PINELLAS COUNTY: (800) 500-1119 | TTY: (800) 621-4202
The Haven: Domestic Violence Hotline: (727) 442-4128, TDD: (727) 223-4946
Rape Crisis Line – Local: 727-530-7273