Mental Health Series from UCF RESTORES Coming to Social Media

Dr. Beidel and UCF RESTORES Fire/EMS Outreach Coordinator Kimberly Neisler with first responders that serve as part of the Florida Firefighters Safety & Health Collaborative, a close partner organization of RESTORES.

Expert advice to deal with the stressful disruptions caused by COVID-19 is coming soon to Facebook Live.

The Q&A-style, roughly 10-minute videos will be co-hosted by faculty and staff of UCF RESTORES, a research center and treatment clinic based on campus that provides treatment for active duty military, first responders, survivors of sexual assault and mass violence, veterans and other individuals affected by trauma. While the challenges faced by “frontline heroes” like medical professionals and first responders is not the same as what people quarantined at home experience, that doesn’t minimize or discount anyone’s anxiety, said Deborah Beidel, Ph.D., director of RESTORES.

“This is an ongoing part of our outreach efforts in times of stress and trauma,” said Beidel, pointing to a similar video series launched after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle. “We want to help because most people don’t know the difference between a healthy and abnormal response.”

The series will kick off with a brief introductory video from Beidel, on the UCF RESTORES Facebook page (@UCFRestores) on Monday at 10 a.m., that will focus on recognizing signs of stress during particularly trying times, exploring reactions that are typical during periods of heightened anxiety and, conversely, those that may be cause for greater concern. Other upcoming topics include healthy coping mechanisms, the hazards associated with unhealthy drinking habits, the importance of proper sleep, hygiene, relaxation techniques and leaning on social support in trying times.

“These are skills we think people should have under any circumstances,” Beidel said.

While the videos are pre-recorded, staff will be online during the premiere sessions to answer questions using the chat feature.


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