Heritage Reminds You to
Look for the Helpers
In the midst of all things COVID-19, we are reminded of when Mr. Fred Rogers shared, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in the world."
This is a comforting thought and it can be comforting. But here's the thing – Many of us are the helpers. We are wondering, waiting and hoping that we have enough toilet paper to make it until - well, we don’t really know. There are so many unknowns. It is important to give ourselves grace during this unusual time in our lives and remember that we are human. Events like this one can be scary and stressful. We may experience sadness, frustration or perhaps even hopelessness. And that's okay. After all, we are human. During this difficult time, please access and share these resources with others when needed (all are resources are free and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week):
Crisis workers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may reach them by calling (217) 362-6262 (dial 1 for a crisis worker).
Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
Text an anonymous crisis counselor: 741741
Trevor Project Hotline (LGBTQ+): 1-866-488-7386
Trevor Project Text Line: 678678
Cultural Considerations for BIPOC Mental Health
The reality of racism experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) is deeply embedded in this country, its institutions, and within individuals. Communities of color are resilient and thriving despite the devastating impact of racism.
In the midst of this trauma, the wellbeing and mental health of Blacks, Indigenous, and People of Color matter. If you are part of the BIPOC community, it may be helpful to consider the following:
Recognize trauma. It can be traumatic to hear about or watch the frequent injustices and harm done to people of color. Give yourself permission not to be okay. Take time and space to feel horror, fear, sadness, grief, rage. Whatever you are feeling is okay.
Take care of yourself every day. Make sure to include physical activity, a nourishing diet, and 7-9 hours of sleep. As Black poet and activist Audre Lorde wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” (From A Burst of Light and Other Essays)
Seek community. Take time to seek out healthy family and friends, or professional supports as needed. You can reach out to Heritage staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (217) 362-6262 (Dial 1 for a crisis worker).
Be aware of what you can control. Set boundaries around when and how often you consume media and which images may be too damaging to view. Choose which friends and colleagues will be provide helpful support to you.
Seek balance in the images and information you consume. While we can’t ignore the traumatic realities of injustice, make sure to find joy in the beauty of BIPOC culture, art, music, food, and community. Find ways to daily celebrate your goodness and wholeness.
Affirm your resilience. You have likely developed powerful coping strategies for persisting through all kinds of pain and trauma. Remind yourself of these skills and return to them. Check out our Virtual Place of Hope for some additional coping strategies.