Dear Reader, 

More than four out of 10 U.S. adults feel that worry and stress related to the novel coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation released on April 2, 2020.

Below, we highlight how New York state is addressing the mental health implications of the pandemic. 

If there are additional resources or services for mental health care not included on this list or if you want to share how you are taking care of your mental health, please email me at 

I will be postponing our #IAm1in5 Facebook Live Chats and office hours for now. 

—Camalot K. Todd 

New York has been hit the hardest in the nation by the pandemic, recording its highest one-day total of fatality rates on Tuesday, with 731 new deaths since Monday, April 6, The New York Times reports

Yesterday, New York lost an additional 779 people, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Between the eight counties of Western New York, there have been 51 deaths.

The full weight of the pandemic touches nearly every aspect of a person’s life — from their finances, to their social network, to their physical and mental health.

In an attempt to address the mental and behavioral fallouts, New York created a free emotional helpline to provide free and confidential support to New Yorkers experiencing increased anxiety due to the virus.

The hotline is staffed by volunteers, including more than 10,000 mental health professionals, who’ve been trained in crisis counseling.

It’s open all week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The New York Office of Mental Health also curated a list of resources, here.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo partnered with the meditation app, Headspace, for free guided meditation sessions.

The meditation sessions are broken into five categories: stress, sleep experiences, mindful living, meditation for kids, and mindful exercises.

They’re also available in Spanish.

Headspace is also providing free meditation for health care professionals. To learn more about the “A NY State of Mind” partnership, visit Headspace.

While the content was designed for New Yorkers, it is available to all. Headspace also offers a free “Weathering the Storm” collection for people during this pandemic.

Additionally, The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) operates a hopeline for those struggling with substance use.

Remote medication-assisted treatment (MAT) was approved amid the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing New Yorkers across the state, including in Erie and Monroe counties, to have access to buprenorphine, commonly used for opioid addiction, at home.

Find a provider, here.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to work from home in a studio apartment in downtown Buffalo, and like most of you I’ve been adapting to spending the bulk of my days eating, sleeping, working, exercising and more in one spot.

One of the tips Jessica Pirro, the executive director of Crisis Services, gave to Spectrum News on working from home is to schedule breaks throughout the day.

For the past few days, I have been scheduling quick 10-minute breaks to disconnect (another tip Pirro suggested for maintaining mental health) and using one of those free mediation guidance sessions provided by Headspace.

Below is a picture of my meditation space. I’d love to hear how you’re taking care of your mental health during this.

For more of our coverage on mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the series we did with Pirro, click on the links below: