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Dr. Christine Catipon on COVID-19 and Mental Health: ‘You are not wrong for feeling scared’

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who is positive, you may experience fear and worry about your own health or the health of your loved ones. You may experience stress from constantly monitoring yourself for symptoms or from others monitoring you and themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. You may experience sadness, anger and frustration because loved ones have fears about contracting the disease from having contact with you. You may also feel some guilt from not being able to perform normal work, school or parenting duties while in quarantine from others. There may also be emotional or mental health changes such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and traumatic distress.

Dr. Christine Catipon earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Orange, CA. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in Santa Monica, CA, and she is an active leader in the Asian American Psychological Association. Dr. Catipon has extensive clinical experience as an integrative generalist from her many years working in university counseling centers and private practice settings throughout Southern California. On behalf of Pacific Asian Counseling Services, Dr. Catipon discusses how to engage in emotional and mental wellness during this time.

What should you do if you are experiencing mental health distress?

First, in terms of emotional wellness, remind yourself that your emotions are valid. There's no right way to respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19. This situation is novel, evolving and unpredictable. You are not wrong for feeling scared, frustrated, angry, hopeful or any other feeling related to this pandemic. Next, you want to make every attempt to stay connected. During this period, it is important to maintain appropriate physical distancing recommendations.

However, please make sure to find other ways to stay in touch with your social support. This could be regular phone calls, video chats, texts or other online activities.

Another tip is to eat regular meals with those in your home. Now that we are limited to spending time with only those from our own households, try to make the most of it by engaging in regular meals or activities with your loved ones.

Finally, if you feel like you need additional support in creating emotional wellness plans, find professional support, consider talking to a therapist or counselor to have a safe space, to share your concerns and learn how to cope with them.

Now, let's talk about proven mental wellness in the time of covid reduce media exposure. If you are feeling overwhelmed, limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. We're inundated with information regarding it and are often receiving information from multiple channels.

Be careful of covid-19 misinformation. Prevent yourself from being caught up in potential rumors by getting information from reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites for up to date information about closings.

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the best places to check for incorrect information about the virus. Finally, try to maintain perspective, while this is a significant event for all of us, remind yourself of what's good in your life and what's really important.

If you have any questions, you can reach out to Pacific Asian Counseling Services. They are taking e-mails and phone calls. If you have any questions about covid regarding testing symptoms tomorrow and you can ask also in Filipino, just call the Pacific Asian Counseling Services: (562) 418-6161 or email:

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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