With more than 23 million Californians now at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. But the lasting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic go beyond new hygiene routines and mask wearing techniques.

The pandemic has affected the mental health of almost everyone, said Dr. Curley Bonds, the chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

In October 2020 the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “41.2% of adults in California reported symptoms of anxiety and / or depressive disorders, compared with 37.7% of adults in the US”.

Frontline workers, caretakers and others who witnessed the immense loss of the pandemic firsthand were deeply affected. Of those surveyed in a study of the National Health Institute, 42.7% of frontline nurses who worked during the pandemic reported somatic symptoms or physical manifestations of stress.

And about one in five people who have had COVID-19 have had symptoms of anxiety and depression, Bonds said. For some, these symptoms are new, and for those who have had pre-existing mental symptoms, they have worsened. “Most studies seem to have that around 20 to 30% of people experience anxiety, depression, or problems with functioning just to get up and do the things they normally do,” he said. These can include fatigue, lack of energy, changes in appetite or sleep, he said.

Getting closer to normal is good, said Jonna Fries, director of counseling and mental health services at Cal State LA, but it could still be stressful.

The fear of returning to everyday life, Bonds said, can be traced back to what he calls “caveman syndrome”. Imagine someone coming out of a cave and seeing light for the first time. It is something that we all have to experience, dare to experience outside without a mask after months of fear and uncertainty.

These feelings of fear are perfectly normal, but you don’t have to deal with them on your own. Fries said when it comes to your mental health, “Get rich.”

Here are some resources you can reach out to.

National lifeline of suicide prevention: (800) 273-8255; Suicide prevention lifeline.org: Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in a mental crisis. For the deaf or hard of hearing: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1 (800) 273-8255.

National lifeline for suicide prevention en español: 1 (888) 628-9454

National lifeline for suicide prevention for LGBTQ people: (800) 273-8255.

Line of crisis text: SMS HOME to 741741: A trained crisis counselor is available anytime from anywhere in the United States.

CA Youth Crisis Line: (800) 843-5200; cayouth.org/cycl. This nationwide emergency call system is for Californians between the ages of 12 and 24. You can text, call or chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Veterans Crisis Line and the Military Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255, press 1; text 838255. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who is in a crisis, this number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

LA warmline: (855) 952-WARM (9276); www.211la.org: Anyone in Southern California struggling with loneliness, anxiety, drug use, other mental health problems, or needing information about available mental health services can. call LA warmline between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and connected to resources. You can call earlier and leave voicemail. Support requests that are transmitted via Voicemail are usually processed around 9:30 p.m. Services are available in English and Spanish.

OC Warmline: (714) 991-6412; www.namioc.org/oc-warmline. Provides emotional support and resources for those in need. This warmline is available to Orange County’s residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can send a text message or call the number to be connected with a volunteer.

Support groups and education

NAMI Urban Los Angeles (NULA): (323) 294-7814; www.namiurbanla.org. The Los Angeles branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is helping connect Angelenos to mental health services. Different services are available depending on the age group, sexual orientation and language.

Share! The self-help and recovery exchange: (310-305-8878); shareselfhelp.org. With locations in Culver City and downtown, share hosts group sessions on topics such as anger management, depression, and substance abuse.

For black people

Therapy for black girls: therapieforblackgirls.com.

California Health Project for Black Women: (310) 412-1828; www.cabwhp.org. The organization is focused on empowering and empowering black women and girls in California to stand up for their own health and the health of their community.

Black collective for emotional and mental health: www.beam.community. BEAM connects members of the Black community, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical ability or disability, with the resources they need to achieve spiritual and emotional healing.

The safe place: The app provides tools for the black community to seek and receive care. It’s free and available on iOS and Android.

Manifest ME wellness: (424) 888-0447; manifestingwellness.com. Manifesting ME Wellness is owned by a black woman and is based in Los Angeles. It provides services to marginalized communities and individuals by providing culturally literate, trauma-informed holistic mental and emotional health services.

For Native Americans

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Native Americans: suizidpräventionlifeline.org / nativeamericans. A Resource Guide to Culture-Specific Mental Health Care.

Suicide Prevention: Indian Health Service: www.ihs.gov/suicideprevention. Culturally skilled and specific resources for Native Americans.

Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute: cnay.org. Education and resources for Native Americans under the age of 24.

We R Native: Text “NATIV” to 97779; wernative.org. Education and resources for Native American youth looking for mental health and other needs.

For latinos

Be the 1 to: How and why the five steps can help; www.bethe1to.com. A resource in English and Spanish to help you have a conversation if you are concerned about someone being suicidal.

Therapy for Latinx: therapieforlatinx.com. A resource to connect members of Latinx and other communities with the mental health resources they need.

For Asian Americans

Asian mental health collective: asianmhc.org. Makes it easier for individuals to find mental health professionals across their nationwide APISAA therapist directory.

Asian American Psychological Assn.: aapaonline.org. Provides tools for mental health management, anti-bullying, and Asian-American LGBTQ-specific resources.

The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Assn.: www.naapimha.org. Helps connect Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Indigenous Hawaiians with mental health resources.

The South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network: samhin.org. Connects individuals with mental health service providers who specialize in providing services to the South Asian community. the Provider directory enables those seeking services to select a psychologist based on language, location, and specialty.

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance: www.nqapia.org. Provides extensive resources for LGBTQ members of the AAPI community. the Directory of healers and therapists Centers providers of AAPI ancestry.

Asians do therapy: asiansdotherapie.com. A resource to help you determine if you need mental health care and, if so, how to find it

Cambodian Assn. from America: www.cambodianusa.com. A hub of resources in support of members of the Cambodian community.

For LGBTQ people

Planned parenting: www.plannedparenthood.org/sexual-orientation. Mental and physical health resources are provided for LGBTQ people in most locations. Resources include a hotline, gender-specific hormone therapy, and teen-centered care.

The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386; www.thetrevorproject.org. The country’s only LGBTQ mental health hotline available 24/7.

It Gets Better Project: Hope for LGBT Youth:itgetsbetter.org. A list of resources for LGBTQ youth.

Trans lifeline: (877) 565-8860 in the US, (877) 330-6366 in Canada; translifeline.org. A transgender-operated hotline that provides mental health support and resources.


Headroom. This app is free for LA residentswho can use it to relax, sleep or just take a deep breath. Available for iOS and Android. Download: headspace.com/lacounty

NotOK app. This free, digital panic button can connect you to trusted contacts and mental health professionals at the touch of a button. This app can help users to get in touch before they get into a crisis. Available for iOS and Android. Download: notokapp.com.

WIN: What I need. Designed to connect homeless or resource insecure people 12-25, families, adults and seniors with 12 services in the LA area. What I Need can help users find jobs, food supplies, and resources for mental and physical health. Search results can be given based on your age, gender, location, and sexual orientation. Available for iOS and Android. Download: ourchildrenla.org/win-app.