BeyGOOD, an initiative founded by Beyoncé, and UCLA offer COVID-19 online toolkit for mental wellness

UCLA, in partnership with Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative, has created an online COVID-19 Care Package to help people struggling with stress and anxiety brought on or worsened by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first offering of UCLA’s new STAND Together During COVID-19 website, which will help people cope during this stressful time by providing self-care strategies and exercises based on research-backed cognitive behavioral therapy principles.

BeyGOOD recognizes how important it is to alleviate the immense mental health burden placed on essential employees who continue to work outside their homes in health care, the food industry, and as delivery workers, sanitation employees and in other roles.

“We are living through an inflection point in human history, and across the globe people are naturally experiencing increased stress, anxiety and depression,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Creating the STAND Together During COVID-19 website builds naturally on UCLA’s ongoing relationship with Beyoncé and her charitable work. UCLA is bringing all its research and expertise to bear in order to serve the greater community during this uncertain time, and one of the many ways we are doing that now is by providing mental wellness guidance.”

The first installment of the self-guided website features five strategies for coping with anxiety and depression, and an introductory video by UCLA’s Michelle Craske, a world-renowned expert in treatments for anxiety and stress and distinguished professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. New materials will be posted weekly over the next month, and BeyGOOD’s influence will amplify the reach of UCLA’s mental health support to people nationwide.

The new UCLA website melds BeyGOOD’s philosophy of uplifting others with the ongoing UCLA Depression Grand Challenge. Launched in 2015, the Depression Grand Challenge takes aim at one of the world’s biggest health problems to cut depression’s burden on health and well-being in half by 2050. While UCLA’s hospitals treat coronavirus patients and the university’s researchers uncover details about the virus and search for a vaccine, UCLA can also help by addressing mental health.

In addition to the strategies for coping with anxiety and stress already available, STAND Together During COVID-19 will soon include additional videos and more self-guided modules, including tips for keeping worries manageable, ways to stop feeling overwhelmed, tools for reducing loneliness and eventually tools for managing depression. People without internet access can call 1-888-UC-STAND (1-888-827-8263) to reach a corps of “helping hands” trained to guide callers through the advice provided online.

“It is completely normal to feel stressed, anxious and sad right now,” said Craske, co-director of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge and distinguished professor of psychology in the UCLA College. “We are so grateful to Beyoncé and BeyGOOD for helping share proven strategies for coping with stress and anxiety at a time when that information is so powerfully needed.”

The world is unexpectedly united in managing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than ever before, we are all in this together, Block said. UCLA and BeyGOOD’s collaboration designed STAND Together During COVID-19 to provide people with added support and tools to cope with the universal stress and anxiety of these abnormal times.

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