My Coast Guard

Veteran Affairs’ COVID Coach App supports mental health, self-care during pandemic

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

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If you’re experiencing loneliness, stress, and mental strain during this pandemic, you now have another resource to help you cope, and it fits right into the palm of your hand. 

The Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) launched the COVID Coach in April 2020 to help service members and civilians manage heightened emotions. Join their representatives Health Science Specialist, Katherine Juhasz, and Dr. Colleen Becket-Davenport, a clinical psychologist and a mobile mental health apps facilitator, as they demo the app, explain how to integrate calmness into your day, and do a positive imagery exercise. Joins us for this discussion Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 3-4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

“I think that our military is under stress a lot during normal times and during this pandemic there is increased stress,” said Juhasz. “This [app] can help people with stress and lets them learn different ways to connect with others, and foster relationships. It also gives a lot of ideas of things people can do to engage with those in their households and virtually.”

Becket-Davenport added that, “The app doesn’t replace treatment with a mental health professional, but through it, resources are available 24/7 for veterans, active, and reserve members, as well as civilians. We thought it was really important that they have access to these tools wherever they need them.” 

Once COVID Coach is downloaded, the resources will be available for use, even offline. The app can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play and is also available in Spanish. 

Beyond leading the participants through the app’s functionality, “Our hope is that we are also initiating conversations about mental health and helping to remove some of the stigma around that topic,” said Becket-Davenport.

Resources:

If you would like to see previous Wellness Wednesday recordings, they are available on the CG-11 CG portal webpage. Please click this link to attend Wellness Wednesday from your Coast Guard computer, personal computer or mobile device. Even if you do not have a CVR.mil account, you can still watch the stream via the link above. If you wish to maintain anonymity, log out of your normal (USCG/DOD) CVR account and join as a guest. You may also call (571) 388-3904; Conference ID 453 387 852#.