COVID Coping Resources for Clergy, Ministers and the Lay Faithful

Hands Praying

Let us seek out others and embrace the world as it is, without fear of pain or a sense of inadequacy, because there we will discover all the goodness that God has planted in human hearts. Difficulties that seem overwhelming are opportunities for growth, not excuses for a glum resignation that can lead only to acquiescence.

Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti, No. 78     

The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for people and communities around the world.  The tensions, fears, uncertainties and anxieties of daily life have been magnified at a time when places of worships, gathering with family of friends or normal social interactions are difficult or discouraged. 

The following videos, brochures and websites offer a variety of resources for spiritual growth, mental and physical well-being that can be useful during the pandemic.  They are a start but if you or someone you know is in an emergency call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately or seek professional assistance.

 

  1. St. Luke Institute offers free online resources on Resiliency in the Time of Crisis (https://www.sliconnect.org/resiliency/).  While designed for clergy, the techniques for spiritual growth, coping with stress and dealing with an ongoing crisis are useful for everyone. Courses are free but registration is required.  Sample of available courses/videos:
    1. Making Meaning: Resilient Responses to Trauma, Rev. Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, D.Min., Ph.D., explores healthy ways to manage our own response and provide effective pastoral care for others.
    2. Spiritual Growth in Times of Crisis, Rev. David Songy, O.F.M.Cap., S.T.D., Psy.D., discusses practical ways to approach the spiritual life in these challenging times. Sample of other resources:
    3. Finding Meaning in Challenging Times - Loss of meaning is often the quickest path to burnout.
    4. Finding Your Inner Contemplative - Consider using this time of social distancing to focus your gaze more intensely on the bit of God’s creation right around and within you.
    5. How to Pray in Times of Crisis - Simple guidelines for prayer from Saint Luke Institute president Rev. David Songy, O.F.M.Cap., S.T.D., Psy.D.

 

  1. The Caring for the Whole Person Initiative (https://wholeperson.care/ ) is a collaborative project of the California Catholic Bishops and Catholic Health Systems which seeks to ensure that parishioners and patients are accompanied, loved and supported in their serious illness and end-of-life journey. To that end, the Initiative provides tools, resources, guidance, trainings and other supports to implement whole person care. Examples include:
    1. Sacraments - Sacraments provide us grace and strength for our life journey. During illness, when we face uncertainty and fear, they are especially needed.
    2. Prayers - Praying helps us offer our concerns and worries to God, shows compassion for others and comforts us in our dark moments.
    3. Grief Support- Through death we are born into a new life but facing the reality of a loved one no longer physically with us takes time and support.
    4. Dying Process - Death is a process with the body providing signs that it is approaching.

 

  1. Spiritual Resources
    1. Catholic Health Association of the United States
      1. Spiritual Resources for COVID - https://www.chausa.org/newsroom/coronavirus-resources/spiritual-resources-for-covid-19
      2. Prayers - https://www.chausa.org/prayers/cha-prayer-library/prayers-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
    2. The USCCB has spiritual resources devoted to getting through these difficult times.  
    3. Special COVID-19 Resource Articles from the Catholic Apostolate Center - https://www.catholicapostolatecenter.org/covid-19-center-resources.html - has reflections on suffering, practical ideas on reaching out and accompanying people during the pandemic.

 

  1. Caregivers
    1. Building Resiliency in Times of Crisis

 

  1. Public Health Resources
    1. World Health Organization - Practical considerations and recommendations for religious leaders and faith-based communities in the context of COVID-19 – https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/practical-considerations-and-recommendations-for-religious-leaders-and-faith-based-communities-in-the-context-of-covid-19?gclid=Cj0KCQiAhs79BRD0ARIsAC6XpaXh4pacJSjCiT08O2q8RbCLi_xmR1hCVWiYpYuf38DqMg0_XX-FRr0aApHKEALw_wcB
    2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
      1. Considerations for Communities of Faith –https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/faith-based.html
      2. Mental Health and Managing Stress Related to COVID - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

 

Selected Mental Health Resources

  1. TAPS Institute TALKS: Strategies for Coping When You are Feeling Isolated
  2. TAPS Institute: Helping Grievers Cope with Guilt, Anger, and Other Difficult Emotions
  3. Coronavirus grief is like no other. ‘Everything just feels fake’  Bettina Boxall, May 17, 2020, LA Times
  4. Self-Care for Caregivers During the Covid-19 Pandemic Briefing Note
  5. Grief and Bereavement for Family Members Who Can't Visit their Sick Relatives or Attend Funeral Services Briefing Note
  6. Getting Help with Depression - https://www.scu.edu/cowell/counseling-and-psychological-services-caps/getting-help-with-depression/
  7. Stress and Relaxation Interactive Stress Program - https://www.scu.edu/cowell/counseling-and-psychological-services-caps/getting-help-with-depression/stress-and-relaxation-interactive-program/
  8. COVID-19 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Resource Guide - https://www.nami.org/getattachment/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/2020/NAMI-Updates-on-the-Coronavirus/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf
  9. Emotional Well Being and Coping During COVID-19, Resources from UCSF - https://psychiatry.ucsf.edu/copingresources/covid19
  10. FACE COVID Intervention based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Principles - https://e-tmf.org/app/uploads/2020/03/FACE-COVID-How-to-respond-effectively-to-the-Corona-crisis-by-Russ-Harris.pdf

Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook - https://thewellnesssociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook.pdf

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