BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) — We’re ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic and while physical health remains top of mind, for many, their mental health is still on the backburner.
A new program through UC Berkeley’s Digital Health Equity and Access Lab hopes to help.
Dr. Adrian Aguilera is the director.
RELATED: ABC7 talks to California surgeon general Nadine Burke-Harris about COVID-19’s impact on children
“We want to target the folks with the fewest resources, in terms of services available and things like that,” Dr. Aguilera said. “But, it really is open to everybody.”
The free program is called StayWell at Home. Participants receive daily texts for 60 days that provide tips on managing the stress of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
“This program is based in cognitive behavioral therapy which has years of research behind it in terms of showing effectiveness for improving symptoms of mental health such as depression and anxiety,” Aguilera said. “The focus is on changing our thinking so it’s more helpful for us, and more adaptive in a situation.”
Participants receive texts such as: “You are a wonderful human doing the best you can in a difficult situation. What are three things you are grateful for?” or “Make a list of people that make you happy. Commit to reaching out to at least one of them each day this week.”
“They are centered on coping skills and behavioral activation, so it’s just really important to occupy our minds with things other than the coronavirus,” said Alein Harro, a health policy doctoral student at UC Berkeley.
RELATED: Beating holiday blues during the pandemic
Harro wants the program to reach as many Latinos and immigrants as possible. Throughout California, Latinos account for 56% of COVID-19 cases and 47% of deaths, which is disproportionately high compared to the population share of Latinos, which is 39%.
“The worries often times in the immigrant community is sharing information, and we really will not,” Harro continued. “We won’t know who you are. This is really just something that we hope can help at a population level.”
Program participants have the ability to opt into a study on the texts. It’s not required and is still anonymous. The research will be used down the line to analyze the mental health impacts of the pandemic.
At the end of the 60 days, participants that opt into the study will receive a $20 gift card.
For more information on StayWell at Home, click here.
WATCH: ‘Your Mental health: A Bay Area Conversation’ virtual town hall addressing COVID-19 impact on mental health EMBED More News Videos
Watch ABC7’s one-hour virtual town hall, “Your Mental Health: A Bay Area Conversation,” with mental health experts, providing real solutions to help you make each day better.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
From COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, these 13 people defined the Bay Area in 2020
Map: CA counties that can, can’t reopen under new rules
CALCULATOR: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
VIDEO: When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine? We explain who goes 1st
COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here’s what you need to know
Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid ‘twindemic’
How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
Here’s which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
Here’s how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
Coronavirus Doctor’s Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
a Report a correction or typo Related topics:
health & fitnessuc berkeleybuilding a better bay areacoronavirusuc berkeleytextingmental wellnesstherapymental health Share: Share Tweet Email Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.
- Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Wednesday 30-December-2020 [https://www.ieyenews.com/dr-stuart-weiss-covid-19-update-wednesday-30-december-2020/]
- BEHEMOTH’s NERGAL Will Receive COVID-19 Vaccine In 10 Days [https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/behemoths-nergal-will-receive-covid-19-vaccine-in-10-days/]
- COVID-19 vaccinations begin at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor [https://www.enmnews.com/2020/12/31/covid-19-vaccinations-begin-at-michigan-stadium-in-ann-arbor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-vaccinations-begin-at-michigan-stadium-in-ann-arbor]
- Trump Posts Bizarre Year-End Victory Lap Speech, Takes Lion’s Share of Credit for Vaccine: ‘Everybody’s Calling to Thank Me’ [https://www.enmnews.com/2020/12/31/trump-posts-bizarre-year-end-victory-lap-speech-takes-lions-share-of-credit-for-vaccine-everybodys-calling-to-thank-me/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trump-posts-bizarre-year-end-victory-lap-speech-takes-lions-share-of-credit-for-vaccine-everybodys-calling-to-thank-me]
- Could Disneyland require proof of COVID-19 vaccination when it reopens? [https://www.pe.com/2020/12/31/could-disneyland-require-proof-of-covid-19-vaccination-when-it-reopens/]