UND Care Toolkit
UND has created a Care Toolkit to help students, faculty and staff cope with stress and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has affected students and school communities strongly. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming for students. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Worsening of mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
COVID-19 Stress Management Tools
Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
- Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19. Contact a health professional before you start any self-treatment for COVID-19.
- Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
- Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body:
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.
Knowing the Facts to Help Reduce Stress
- Knowing the facts about COVID-19 and stopping the spread of rumors can help reduce stress and stigma. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can help you connect with others and make an outbreak less stressful.
- Take care of your mental health.
- Take care of your mental health. Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It may also affect how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices during an emergency.
- People with pre-existing mental health conditions or substance use disorders may be particularly vulnerable in an emergency. Mental health conditions (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia) affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior in a way that influences their ability to relate to others and function each day. These conditions may be situational (short-term) or long-lasting (chronic). People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. If you think you have new or worse symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
- Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row. Free and confidential resources can also help you or a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.
Stress Management Resources
Depression is a mood or emotional state that is marked by feelings of low self-worth or guilt and a reduced ability to enjoy life.
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
- Chronic Illness & Mental Health
- Depression Basics
- Older Adults & Depression
- Depression in Women
- Perinatal Depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Teen Depression
- Shareable Resources
Research & Statistics
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry.
- The presence of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities. Worry occurs often for at least 6 months and is clearly excessive.
- The worry is experienced as very challenging to control. The worry in both adults and children may easily shift from one topic to another.
- The anxiety and worry are accompanied by at least three of the following physical
or cognitive symptoms (In children, only one of these symptoms is necessary for a
diagnosis of GAD):
- Edginess or restlessness
- Tiring easily; more fatigued than usual
- Impaired concentration or feeling as though the mind goes blank
- Irritability (which may or may not be observable to others)
- Increased muscle aches or soreness
- Difficulty sleeping (due to trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, restlessness at night, or unsatisfying sleep)
National Institute of Mental Health Anxiety Resources
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- I'm So Stressed Out!
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: When Unwanted Thoughts Take Over
- Panic Disorder: When Feer Overwhelms
- Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness
- Sharable Anxiety Resources
Research & Statistics
The recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant distress in a person’s daily life. This can include health problems, money difficulties, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home.
- Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause.
- Drop-in grades at school or performance at work;
- skips school or is late for school.
- Change in activities or hobbies.
- Chronic dishonesty.
- Sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums, or resentful behavior.
- Difficulty in paying attention; forgetfulness.
- General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, “I don’t care” attitude.
- Change in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities.
- Silliness or giddiness.
- Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness.
- Excessive need for privacy; unreachable.
- Secretive or suspicious behavior.
- Car accidents.
- Change in personal grooming habits.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Changes in friends; friends are known drug users.
- Unexplained need for money, stealing money or items
- Possession of a false ID card
- Missing prescription pills
- Complaints of a sore jaw (from teeth grinding during an ecstasy high)
- Presence of an unusual number of spray cans in the trash
- Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; a sweet burnt scent; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
- Alcohol: Clumsiness; difficulty walking; slurred speech; sleepiness; poor judgment; dilated pupils.
- Cocaine, Crack, Meth, and Other Stimulants: Hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; dilated pupils; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
- Heroin: Needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing and sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite; contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light.
- Depressants (including barbiturates and tranquilizers): Seems drunk as if from alcohol but without the associated odor of alcohol; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness; and contracted pupils.
- Inhalants (glues, aerosols, and vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory, and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; the appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; anxiety; irritability
- Hallucinogens: Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
Other Psychological Issues
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Major changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Suicidal thinking
Want to make an appointment for a student or yourself? Call the counseling center at your school.
- University of North Dakota: 701.777.2127/ NPCC - 701.777.3745
- Mayville State University: 701.788.4772
- NDSCS, Fargo: 701.671.2286/ 701.231.6940
- North Dakota State University: 701.231.7671
- Valley City State University: 701.845.7427
- Lake Region State College: 701.662.1546
- NDSCS, Wahpeton: 701.671.2286/ 701.231.6940
- Dakota College at Bottineau: 701.228.5451
- Bismarck State College: 701.224.5752
- Minot State University: 701.858.3371
- Dickinson State University: 701.483.2304
- Williston State College: 701.774.4212(In-person)/ 701.774.4212(telehealth)
Mental Health Hotlines
- National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-888-628-9454
- National Hotline for Deaf or Hard of Hearing: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255 or text
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
- North Dakota Crisis Hotline: 211; 701-235-7335: text zip code to 898-211
- Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
Check the college counseling center for support groups offered at your college. You do not need to be receiving counseling services to attend a support group at your university.
Phone apps can be used to help manage symptoms while waiting to receive services or can be used in conjunction when receiving services to help manage symptoms. Apps are not a replacement for counseling services and if you are experiencing severe mental health concerns please contact help.
Mental Health Apps
- Suicide Prevention: MY3
- General Mental Health: What's Up
- Addiction: Twenty-Four Hours a Day; Quit That! Habit Tracker
- SAM self-help-APP-for the mind
- CBT Thought Diary