VA Portland Health Care System
VA Mental Health Appointments
VA Portland Health Care System is continuing to offer Mental Health services with non-face-to-face care. Please reach out if you need assistance during this time:
- For new Mental Health appointments, call 503-220-8262, ext. 56409
- For existing patients, call 503-273-5058, choose the clinic where you receive care.
- If you are in crisis, please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-9255 and press 1. You may also present to the VA or nearest Emergency Department in your area.
Taking good care of ourselves is especially important right now, please review the following recommendations:
Maintaining and Enhancing Your Mental Health and Well-Being During the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak
Adapted from https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus/
Taking care of your well-being, including your mental health, is essential during this time. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Many people may experience stress, fear, anxiety, or feelings of depression. This is normal. There are things that you can do to manage your stress and anxiety:
- Exercise regularly, try to eat well-balanced meals, and get plenty of sleep.
- Limit alcohol.
- Practice breathing exercises and/or meditation. VA has many free mental health apps for Veterans.
- Take breaks from the news (see below for tips).
- Stay connected with others while practicing social distancing (see below for tips).
- Participate in activities or hobbies that you enjoy, or learn a new one.
- Keep your current mental health appointments. VA offers both video and phone telemental health options that do not require you to go to your closest facility in-person should you have a medical concern or need to follow specific social distancing guidelines in your community.
- Learn ways to connect with VA providers using telehealth options and schedule or reschedule your appointment online. If you are requesting a new mental health appointment, please call the VA Portland Health Care System and we will work to arrange an appointment for you. If you need same day access for mental health services, call the VA Portland Health Care System to request this and you will be connected to care.
Also, see these great resources on managing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19:
- Moving Forward
- National Center for PTSD Guidance on Managing Stress
- CDC Guidance on COVID19 Mental Health Support
Avoid Too Much Exposure to News
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. If you feel anxious or stressed from the information, struggle to turn off the TV or log off of social media, or have trouble sleeping, you might want to limit the amount and type of news you are viewing. Try to do enjoyable activities, return to normal life as much as possible, and check for updates between breaks.
During times of social distancing, it is normal to have increased feelings of loneliness, sadness, fear, or anxiety. It is important for everyone to stay connected. Here are some ways to feel more connected:
- Seek support from family, friends, mentors, clergy, and those who are in similar circumstances. While face-to-face communication may be difficult, be flexible and creative using phone, email, text messaging, and video calls. Sign up or join a virtual social network that includes service members and Veterans.
- Keep in touch with fellow Veterans and assist them in navigating this new environment if they are having a hard time. Teach them how to use VA Video Connect through the VA mobile app store as VA increases virtual health and mental health appointment availability.
- As a Veteran, you have been uniquely trained in emergency response situations. Your resilience and strength can assist others during these times. Connection can also happen when you give back to your community by sharing your expertise and support with family, friends, and neighbors through acts of kindness and volunteer opportunities which will arise.