FLORIDA COUNSELING ASSOCIATION

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Information & Resources about COVID-19

FCA President's Message:  
In Light of COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Dear FCA Members,

am sending this email as your current FCA President during this time of global unrest due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  I am meeting with the Division Presidents this Thursday, and the Traumatology Committee is meeting on Friday, so expect more division and/or FCA level emails to come out with more information in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, I’d like to acknowledge that people are likely feeling stressed, hyper-vigilant, anxious, and/or depressed. Additionally, as counselors, graduate students, supervisors, educators, consultants, we interact with people regularly and still must care for ourselves and our loved ones. Therefore, being aware of facts about what is happening to avoid and mitigate risks as well as engaging in physical and emotional self-care is imperative during this critical time for ourselves and those around us, including loved ones and those we serve. So below are some reminders, tips, and resources you may find helpful.

Thank you for all that you and I wish you and your loved ones health and wellness.

Please let us know if we can be of support to you during this time by reaching out to the FCA office or me directly at drlbjfca@gmail.com.

Sincerely, 


Letitia Browne-James, Ph.D., LMHC-S, NCC

Florida Counseling Association, President

Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development, Treasurer 

Victorious Living Counseling and Consulting, LCC, Founder & Owner

407-484-3009 

www.letitiabrownejames.com

In Light of COVID-19

Precautions you should take to protect yourself physically: 

    • Stay at home if you are sick and restrict contact with other people.
    • Even at home, remain at least six feet away from other people while you are sick.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • The CDC continues to recommend against the use of face masks for people who do not have symptoms
    • The federal government is now recommending that people avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people.


Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness, particularly in older people and those with respiratory conditions
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

    If you have any of these symptoms:

    • Call your physician or the Florida Department of Health at (866-779-6121—open 24/7) for instructions. 
    • To limit potential exposure to other patients, do not go to your medical provider’s office without calling first.
    • Tell your medical provider about any recent travel or contact with people who have traveled.

    Here are some websites to keep you updated on the most recent developments of this pandemic:


    Here are some beneficial ideas to consider during this pandemic from my colleagues and me at Adler Graduate School to protect your emotional health:

    • Sort out hype and repetition from fact and logic: Although COVID-19 has over 1.1 billion mentions in the media, there are fewer deaths per day (55) than Tuberculosis (3,014), Pneumonia (2,216), HIV/AIDS (2,110), and Seasonal Flu (1,027). In addition, the majority of people who have tested positive for the virus, have recovered, and 90% of people with the virus have symptoms that are mild.
    • Stay socially active and connected even if you stay at home: In 2020, connecting with others is easier than ever, so even if you must physically be alone, still reach out and stay connected to others and get out in your own yard if possible. If you know of anyone who is isolating themselves, try and stay connected with them via phone or social media – a short call to say hello may mean a lot. 
    • Identify aspects of the situation that you can control and avoid focusing on those that are beyond your control. This may include avoiding over-exposure to the 24-hour news cycle, as much of it focuses on issues that are totally out of our control.
    • Be mindful and focus on what you can control: wash your hands, remind those around you to do the same, avoid shaking hands and touching your face, eat well, get enough sleep, find ways to stay physically active without having to be exposed to close contact with others, and engage in activities that are soothing and/or help you feel safe (these may include but are not limited to meditation, yoga, staying in the present, listening to music, playing with kids, pets, or friends, reading for pleasure, etc.).

    In short, use calming strategies to lower your stress. It’s a well-known fact that stress weakens the immune system. The logical consequence of obsessing over the possibility of getting sick is that you may begin to have some symptoms of illness.

    Self-Care Tips

    Tips for Graduate Students’ Self-Care

      • Engage in self-care activities (i.e., stay connected with family and friends, engage in prayer/meditation, get enough nutritious food and sleep).  
      • Stay current on changes at your school. 
      • Communicate with your instructors as necessary. 
      • Make a schedule/plan to complete your assignments and other important tasks by deadlines.
      • Think outside the box to get things done. 
      • Be flexible during this uncertain time.

    Tips for General Self-Care:

      • Engage in self-care activities (i.e., stay connected with family and friends, get enough nutritious food and sleep).  
      • Stay current on changes in your area and nationally.
      • Limit media consumption and keep young children away from it. 
      • Be kind with yourself and those around you.
      • Be flexible during this uncertain time. 
      • Contact a counselor if you need counseling support.
      • Tap into your spiritual and/or religious network.
      • If you are a counselor, supervisor, and/or counselor educator, evaluate what you can do differently to care for yourself during this time.

    Tips for Children’s Self-Care:

      • Normalize their fears and concerns.
      • Keep them away from the media.
      • Try to maintain as much normalcy as possible.
      • Be extra patient with them.

    RESOURCES


    View Updates and Resources from the American Counseling Association


    Florida Counseling Association Supportive Webinars:

    An Introduction to Tele-Mental Health Counseling in the era of COVID-19 | Presented by: Martin Cortez Wesley, PhD., LMHC, LPCC-S, NCC, MAC BC-TMH | 3.26.2020 | 12:00pm EST

    View Recorded Webinar 

    Empowering Students/Families in a Virtual World | Presented by: Anne Flenner, Ed.S. | 3.20.2020 | 1:00pm EST 

    View Recorded Webinar | Download Copy of Presentation


    Online Resources:

    Message from U.S. Representative Val Demmings, Serving Florida's 10th Congressional District sent on 4.2.2020 which contains the following information and resources:

      • About the Virus
      • What To Do If You Feel Sick
      • Current News and Important Updates
      • Important Resources
      • Our Work in Congress


    Information about upcoming bills and relief packages:


    Parents/Guardians/Caregivers of K-12 Students Resources:

    A list of education companies offering free subscriptions to educational resources due to school closures here:


    School Counselor Resources: 


    Counselor Resources:

    If you are seeing clients and would like resources to provide distance counseling:  

    If you are seeking online continuing education opportunities visit:

    Counselor Educator Resources:

    If you are a professor or instructor seeking additional resources to transition to online pedagogy, see free virtual training information below: 

    •  ACES is offering the following free training: Moving Counseling Instruction Online: A Special Edition Webinar facilitated by Drs. Eric Perry and Marty Jencius. Register hereIf the webinar sessions fill up, you may view the recording at https://acesonline.net/ 
    • Best Practices in Online Pedagogy facilitated by LoriAnn Stretch, Ph.D. and Susan Foster, Ph.D. of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology email officeofce@thechicagoschool.edu for more info about new training dates.


    Virtual Meeting Info for Anyone needing an AA Meeting:  Meeting will occur daily at 2:00 pm. You have to dial 425-436-6360 and enter access code: 422932

    Online Intergroup: Alcoholics Anonymous

    Narcotics Anonymous 

    Cocaine Anonymous

    Smart Recovery Online Meetings & Events


    General Resource:

    Consider a virtual museum tour our some of the most famous museums by visiting: Virtual Museum Tours


    Contact fcaoffice@flacounseling.org with any questions, problems or suggestions for this website.


    Mailing Address:

    Florida Counseling Association

    2750 Taylor Avenue

    Suite A-36

    Orlando, Florida 32806


    Florida Counseling Association is a non-profit organization, branch of the American Counseling Association.

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