Managing COVID Stress and Anxiety

Summit Healthcare, a nonprofit medical center in rural Navajo County in Arizona, is using social media to provide critical behavioral health care to the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Adam Dell, Psy.D., board certified in clinical psychology, launched a new video series on the hospital’s YouTube channel about managing stress during these unprecedented and unnerving times.

What makes this behavioral health resource unique is that it blends a story from the Navajo people about discovery of the Grand Canyon with important medical information and resources – making it highly relevant to its audience. Navajo County’s suicide rate is more than double the national average. The population’s death rate associated with alcohol is more than four times the state average.

In one of the videos, Dell says, "As we go through various stages of our lives, sometimes the earth just seems to open up in front of us. … In our panic, in our desperation, in our fear, we often times scramble back away from the edge of that scary thing, and we tie ourselves to almost anything that makes us feel good in the moment. This is how so many people end up struggling with substance use disorders." He adds, "Right now what we’re going through is unprecedented for our generation. … In a time of frenzy and chaos when we’re unsure where to turn, one of the most important things that we can do is focus on what we can control."

This video series is part of a broad range of approaches to improve access to behavioral health care for area residents.