COVID-19 & Stress

ACEs Aware supports health care providers, their teams, and all those on the front lines of administering care and interventions as California addresses stress and anxiety related to COVID-19.

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These resources are on managing stress related to COVID-19 and mitigating the impact of stress on physical and mental health are for health care providers, their teams, and their patients.

Check out California’s one-stop shop of resources for managing stress for health, which includes hotlines if you or your patients need to talk to someone.

Watch the ACEs Aware webinars on providing trauma-informed care, including via telehealth, during COVID-19.

Download the full ACEs Aware Stress Management Resource List.

For the latest information in California, visit

For the latest clinical information on COVID-19 for health care providers, contact your local Department of Public Health website or visit the California Department of Public Health COVID-19 web page.

For additional information, including interim guidance and resources on caring with patients with COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Professionals web page.


A Message to California Health Care Providers About COVID-19 and Toxic Stress

From Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris and Dr. Karen Mark.

California Department of Health Care Services released an All Plan Letter (APL).

These documents provide recommendations for Medi-Cal providers to mitigate the secondary negative health outcomes of the COVID-19 emergency:

Question/answer on billing Medi-Cal for ACE screenings conducted via telehealth

California Surgeon General Interview with Trauma Informed Parent

Interview (20 minutes) with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on why children and adults who have experienced adversity may be particularly sensitive to COVID-19 anxiety and frustration, and offers practical tools to help our children, ourselves, and others cope with stress and anxiety.

ACEs Aware Outreach Strategies and Sample Message

This document provides outreach strategies that health care providers and practices can use proactively to seek and maintain connections with patients, as well as a sample message for communicating with patients to encourage telehealth during the COVID-19 emergency.

Watch the ACEs Aware webinars on providing trauma-informed care, including via telehealth, during COVID-19.

COVID-19 Telehealth: Relationship-Centered Communication Skills

Academy of Communication in Healthcare sample script on how to communicate with patients about COVID-19 using telehealth.

CDC Recommendations for COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

Describes why people in racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to become seriously ill or die due to COVID-19, and what health care systems and providers, public health professionals, community organizations, and others can do to help.

CDC Recommendations for COVID-19 for People Experiencing Homelessness

Describes why people experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes handouts that providers can give to patient experiencing homelessness.

Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19

American Psychological Association article on how to stop the spread of biases and stereotypes that are happening due to the coronavirus.

Caring for Children with Complex Medical Conditions During COVID-19

American Academy of Pediatrics webinar (18 minutes) helping clinicians understand special considerations for children with complex needs, how to prepare clinics/practices, and how to partner with and support families.

Managing Mental Health During COVID-19

American Medical Association fact sheet with strategies and resources to manage physicians’ and other frontline health care workers’ mental health while caring for patients during the pandemic.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress Website – Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreak Response

Uniformed Services University. Includes the following resources:

COVID-19 Considerations for a Trauma Informed Response for Work Settings

Trauma-informed considerations for work settings where services are provided, in light of COVID-19. Trauma Informed Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon Health Authority.

Building Organizational Resilience in the Face of a Ubiquitous Challenge

How organizational leaders can use trauma-informed care approaches to support their workforce in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Karen Johnson, Trauma-Informed Lens Consulting.

COVID-19 Emotional Health and Well-Being Resources

California COVID-19 website with hotlines for people who need to talk to someone, including for: parents; youth and teens; veterans; first responders and law enforcement; older Californians; deaf and hard of hearing individuals; and LGBTQ+ individuals. Includes hotlines for crisis, suicide, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and for food assistance and other social service resources.

California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief during COVID-19

A simple guide with things you can do every day, at home, to help support your mental and physical health.

ACEs Aware Self-Care Tool for Adults

An ACEs Aware-developed tool for adult patients to use in developing a self-care plan to enhance well-being and decrease stress — for adults.

UCLA Mindful App

Learn to practice mindfulness meditation anywhere with the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center’s app.

Mental Health Support for COVID-19 from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and extensive on-line resources for individuals experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19, as well as specific information for individuals living with a mental illness.

Staying Safe During COVID-19 for People Experiencing Domestic Violence – EnglishSpanish Version

Suggestions for staying safe for people who are experiencing domestic violence. National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Alzheimer’s Association Guidance on COVID-19​

Tips for dementia caregivers during COVID-19.

California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief for Caregivers and Kids during COVID-19

A stress relief playbook to help you understand what to look out for and what you can do to protect your family’s health.

ACEs Aware Self-Care Tool for Pediatrics

An ACEs Aware-developed tool for patients to use in creating a self-care plan to enhance well-being and decrease stress — for children and families.

Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home – English VersionSpanish Version

American Academy of Pediatrics article with tips for families facing longer periods of time isolated at home, including positive parenting and healthy approaches to discipline.

Young Children at Home during the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Importance of Self-Care

Information from ZERO TO THREE about why self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for our young children.

Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing – English VersionSpanish Version

American Academy of Pediatrics article with tips to help parents and children explore outside while practicing good physical distancing.

Teens & COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak – English VersionSpanish Version  

American Academy of Pediatrics article highlighting ways for parents to help teenagers cope during COVID-19.

General Patient Handouts on Buffering Toxic Stress from the Center for Youth Wellness and ZERO TO THREE