COVID-19 presents some particularly difficult challenges for our community.
Many in our community have unique health issues that place them at higher risk. Many of us were struggling with joblessness, homelessness, isolation, stigma, and depression before COVID-19 arrived. As a cojmmunity, we have usually managed our way through past crises by banding together. That is a isn’t easy to do right now. We offer some links and resources below. Stay well. Reach out. Care for someone forgotten.
Combating Depression & Suicide
- Asheville: Our Voice Crisis Hotline: 828-255-7576 | Website
- National: Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 | Website | LGBTQ Support Page | Ayuda En Español | COVID-19 Coping Tips | Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
- Safe Space: Website Online tools and links for emotional support.
- Lifeline Chat: Website Web chat service connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services.
What You Can Do … Beyond Basic Health Precautions
- Phone a Forgotten Friend: We’re good at checking in on close friends and people who are well-networked. Think of someone who might be overlooked right now. Check on them.
- Reach Out to a Group: We have created a directory of many Welcoming Groups in our region. While most aren’t meeting in person right now, many have some form of virtual outreach.
- Restore Your Faith: We have compiled a database of over 60 Welcoming Communities of Faith in Western North Carolina. Though they, too, are meeting less often, many are finding creative ways to sustain a supportive community.
- Fight Stigma: NC Public Health emphasizes that no group, ethnicity or population in the US is more likely to get or spread COVID-19. Fighting stigma is now a matter of public safety. It will be harder to contain the spread of COVID-19 if people are afraid to seek testing and assistance.
- Volunteer: If it is safe to do so. If it isn’t, remember that you are providing a benefit to everyone in North Carolina by remaining in isolation and quarantine.
- Sign up to received COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunity alerts from the United Way.
- Manna Food Bank is in need of healthy volunteers with a lot health risk profile for 2-hour shifts to fill food boxes for the needy [link]. Manna is a key supplier to many community groups, including Loving Food Resources. (If you volunteer at Manna, add #BlueRidgePride to the remarks field. We’d like to track our community’s engagement.)
- Asheville Survival Program – a Facebook page established to help us overcome social distancing and to support the community.