Mental Health: Managing Anxiety and Stress

  • Use these resources to manage anxiety and stress in you and your child:


    The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. 

    Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

    • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
    • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
    • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
    • Worsening of chronic health problems
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

    There are many things you can do to support your child during this time, as they may be influenced by inaccurate or false information.

    • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
    • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
    • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
    • Try to keep up with regular routines and with schools closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
    • Be a role model.  Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Also, consider connecting with your friends and family members virtually.

    Residents experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, should contact the St. Louis County Health Line at (314) 615-2660 with their concerns. Those who have reason to believe they have encountered a person infected with COVID-19 should also utilize that number.

    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline can be reached at (877) 435-8411.

    St. Louis County has created an email address for the unique needs of COVID-19, stlcorona@stlouisco.com. This is to be used for all COVID-19 requests that would otherwise be sent to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the St. Louis County Police Office of Emergency Management, or any of the personnel of those Departments.

    St. Louis County has created a website dedicated to the dissemination of information relating to COVID-19, www.stlcorona.com. Please visit that website or those belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current and reputable information available.