WDH: Protecting mental health during stressful times - Cheyenne, WY Cap City News
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WDH: Protecting mental health during stressful times

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CASPER, Wyo. —  The Wyoming Department of Health has released a statement discussing coping with stressful times and protecting mental health.

Oil City is republishing this full statement; sent approximately 10:30 am, March 26, 2020; as a service to our readers.


With coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) now affecting many aspects of daily life, Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) representatives want residents to recognize the need to take care of their mental health along with protecting themselves from disease.

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“We know this outbreak is likely stressful for people for many different reasons,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “The fears and worry we may experience can be at times overwhelming.”

Matt Petry, Behavioral Health Division senior administrator with WDH, said “Experts tell us that our individual responses to stress caused by the outbreak are affected by our backgrounds, the things that make us different from other people and our communities.”

Anyone in immediate danger of harming themselves, or who knows of someone in immediate danger of harming themselves, should call 911 for emergency services. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts is encouraged to call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.

Petry noted people with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment as much as possible and take note of any new or worsening symptoms.

“Wyoming’s community mental health providers are a good resource for help and their services are available regardless of ability to pay,” Petry said. “Many local mental health providers are helping clients using telehealth methods during this time. Contact your local provider to learn more about their currently available services.”

More information about community mental health centers throughout Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/behavioralhealth/mhsa/treatment/cmhc/.

Other personal actions Wyoming residents can take to support their mental wellbeing include:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of physical health. Try to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind with safe and enjoyable activities.
  • Safely connect with trusted others to talk about concerns.

More information about managing anxiety and stress during the pandemic is available from CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.

More information about COVID-19 in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.


What to do if you are feeling physically sick (COVID-19): In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org


  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.

This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.


The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:


What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org


  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.