Coping With COVID-19

Support services and wellness resources for the Lehigh community

Lehigh's Alumni Memorial Building

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many aspects of daily life, and as we collectively work to halt the virus’ spread by following recommended protocols such as social distancing, it is only to be expected that some of us may begin to experience feelings of anxiety, isolation, uncertainty or fear. 

For those in the Lehigh community who may be struggling to cope with the realities of COVID-19, there are a number of resources available to assist you during this difficult time. 

Below is a listing of programs, counseling services and other resources that are accessible to students, faculty and staff, as well as some additional information for parents and families. 

FOR STUDENTS 

The Office of Counseling and Psychological Services

If you find yourself feeling frightened, sad, or frustrated, we encourage you to reach out to those most familiar and close to you as well as offer to be there for others. In addition, if you think it might be helpful to talk things through with a counselor, we welcome you to contact our Office of Counseling and Psychological Services at 610-758-3880 or 610-758-5183. The center is open and counselors are available 24/7 to talk and provide support and assistance.

Current services include:

  • Telemental health treatment (counseling and or consultation sessions that occur via phone or videoconference using a variety of technologies).
  • Remote short term therapy and consultation for enrolled students. All sessions will be held via Zoom or Phone.

Tips on Maintaining Mental Well-Being

The Office of Student Affairs has created a series of study and workout plans to help students maintain and enhance their psychological and mental health fitness. Included are tips on how to stay connected during a time of social distancing, how to deal with anxiety, the importance of maintaining a routine, and more. Access this helpful resource here.

Stay Connected Virtually 

Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to feel disconnected from the community. There are a growing number of events listed on the Lehigh website for you to join, including purely social events to provide a break from your studies. Browse all events on the events calendar.

Academic Support Resources

Lehigh is committed to ensuring that students have all the tools and support they may need to continue their educational experience during this time of remote learning. Academic support resources include the following:

Additional resources for students:

  • International students can check this FAQ created by the Office of International Students and Scholars,  which includes updates on the latest information about visas, travel guidance and more.
  • Graduate students can access this FAQ created by Elizabeth A. Dolan, deputy provost for graduate education, which addresses a range of topics such as residential life, funding, coursework, and deadlines. Students can also submit topics they would like addressed.
  • Additional resources and information for graduate students, including self-care tips, updates on COVID-19 and more, can be found on the Graduate Life homepage
Students working out in Taylor Gym

Though working out at Taylor Gym isn't currently possible, members of the Lehigh fitness staff are posting free workout plans on the @lehightaylorgym Instagram account as a resource for those in the Lehigh community.

FOR FACULTY AND STAFF 

Lehigh benefits for faculty and staff include behavioral (mental) health coverage. To access these services, call the number listed on the back of your Capital BlueCross card. More information regarding Lehigh employee benefits is available here.

Employee Assistance Program 

Lehigh's Employee Assistance Program provides support for eligible employees who may be experiencing issues including emotional distress, family difficulties, and financial challenges, among others.

The program is managed by Integrated Behavioral Health. Services include problem assessment and referral to additional services if necessary, as well as three counseling sessions per incident at no cost to the employee.

More information is available at the Lehigh Human Resources website. To connect with Integrated Behavioral Health visit their website or call 1-800-395-1616.

‘Be Well’

This wellness initiative provides incentives and rewards for making positive choices and engaging in healthy behaviors. It is free for all eligible Lehigh employees. Learn more here. 

Additional Resources for All Members of the Lehigh community:

  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: The Lehigh Community Service Office is continually updating its list of virtual volunteer opportunities during COVID-19. See the complete list here
  • MOUNTAIN TALKS: Mountain Talks is a series of 30-minute chats with Lehigh faculty experts on any number of issues surrounding COVID-19. See upcoming and archived Mountain Talks here
  • RESILIENT LEHIGH VALLEY: The College of Education has engaged with a number of partners throughout the region for the Resilient Lehigh Valley initiative, which is offering mindfulness resources and lesson plans for students, teachers, parents and caregivers. 
  • STAY FIT: The fitness staff at the Taylor Gym are offering free workout plans via the @lehightaylorgym Instagram account.
  • WEBINAR: "Helping Kids, Caregivers and Teachers Cope During COVID-19": A Webinar with Dr. Chris Liang, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Chair for the Department of Education and Human Services. See the presentation here

GENERAL TIPS FROM THE CDC

Ways to Cope With Stress
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
    • Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
    • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
    • Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.