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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Under a stay-at-home order, many therapists are switching to teletherapy, where they make connections and provide guidance over video chat or phone.

Lisa Conway, a therapist at the Relate Counseling Center in Minnetonka, says her clients are asking to talk to her through teletherapy more often than normal.

“Typically people do out-patient therapy once a week, I’m certainly working with some of my clients more than that right now,” Conway said.

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Conway says most of her patients are coming to her with anxiety related to the pandemic.

“People who never felt anxious are feeling anxious,” Conway said. “What we’re discovering is that a lot of people are experiencing their anxiety in symptoms that mimic what COVID-19 is supposed to look like.”

Conway says there are easy things you can do on your own to stay calm and lessen the anxiety:

  • Limiting the amount of information on this pandemic you consume each day
  • Get outside for some fresh air
  • Exercise
  • Read
  • Distract yourself with things that make you happy
  • When it comes to kids who may feel anxious, Conway says the best thing you can do to let them feel comfortable asking questions, but make sure parents’ answers are age appropriate. She says kids do not need to know every detail about the pandemic.

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    Last week, Director of Homeland Security Joe Kelly requested a “major disaster declaration” for Minnesota with the sole purpose of improving crisis counseling access statewide. If approved by President Donald Trump, it would guarantee a 100% federal reimbursement mental health services.

    Teletherapy is covered by insurance, but if you recently lost your job and coverage during this pandemic, the state requires mental health services to offer a sliding fee scale to make it accessible to everyone.

    Click here for more tips from the Relate Counseling Center on coping with pandemic-related stress, and click here for tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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    Marielle Mohs

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