Mental Health and the 2020 Election

Resources to Cope with the Current National Discourse

The importance of mental health awareness extends past Election Day (November 3rd). Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a "Stress in America" survey, in which they found more than two-thirds of adults identified the 2020 election as a significant source of stress.

We recognize that unlike the previous election years, it is likely a winner will not be declared on Election Night. It could be a while before a winner is announced. This is a different and difficult time and the Student Counseling Center (SCC) is here to support students with the stress and unrest that comes with the 2020 Presidential Election. Below you will find resources on how to cope during these times of uncertainty, information on voting, and what this election could mean for mental health.

Check out UMB VOTES for key dates and links, and everything you need to know about the voting process.

 

The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Penn State Harrisburg has shared the following continuum and Election Stress Kit illustrating how to cope with the current national discourse. 

UNPLUG: Limit your consumption of social media and the 24-hour non-stop images. It’s important to stay informed, but creating boundaries is important.

BE PRESENT: Use reflection to recognize your inner thoughts and feelings. Be curious and non-judgmental and give yourself permission to feel the way you do. Although avoiding can be useful, “stuffing” or ignoring strong emotions can have negative impacts.

REFUEL: Focus on restoring yourself with rest and healthy food. Drink water and try to limit caffeine. Move a little every day. Take a walk; look at the sky; be in nature. Journal or meditate. Make art or watch funny videos. Read something fun.

CONNECT: Engage with supportive friends and allies. Talk about current issues, if needed, but be aware of when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Not everyone will share your perspective, so it’s OK to limit your topics and avoid heated conflict. Reach out to supportive services on-campus, including CAPS.

DO SOMETHING:  Channel what you’re feeling into positive, meaningful activity. Be informed and proactive around issues that matter to you. Find ways to engage in your community through advocacy in ways that fit for you.

 

View the complete Election Stress Kit here.

A five-block continuum