Mental Health & Social Distancing

The current climate of unease and unpredictability along with a need for social distancing and solitude can be a difficult combination both emotionally and mentally. The Animation Guild is here to support the health and wellbeing of all our members, our families, and our community as a whole. The following resources can provide you with helpful tips and guidance on how to stay healthy during these difficult times.

MPI Health Plan Resources

MPI has resources that can allow you to get help online. Optum’s website——with Access Code MPIPHP offers online therapy through the TalkSpace App. You can read more about OPTUM services here.

Kaiser Permanente offers digital emotional wellness tools through myStrength – call to learn more about other therapy options.

Health Net offers personalized wellness coaching – certified coaches are available over the phone or via instant messaging or email to answer questions.

Feeling down?

Visit the Behind the Scenes mental health screening site. After you fill out a short questionnaire, you will get recommendations and key resources.

Also, the Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative, in partnership with HelpPRO, launched of the Entertainment Industry Therapist Finder. The Finder only includes listings for mental health professionals who have previously worked with clients in the entertainment industry or who have personal professional experience in the industry themselves.

Tips on how to stay healthy

Manage your stress

  • Maintaining a healthy routine where you get regular sleep and meals and designating work and personal time can provide structure to your days. For example, take a “walk to work” out of the house to signify the start of your work day.
  • Being creative during social distancing isn’t easy, so be nice to yourself if you’re not feeling productive. Try exercising with yoga, cardio, or a walk outside to enjoy the fresh air in order to get back into a productive mindset. Click here for more at-home options.
  • Looking for guidance? There are many accessible apps you can download to help maintain your wellbeing from the comfort of your home, but be sure to work with a trained professional for more in-depth and personalized care. Check out LA County’s list of helpful apps.  The LA County Department of Health has partnered with Headspace to offer residents free subscriptions. Learn more and sign up here.
  • Limit your time online. Reputable sources can help give guidance on the state of the world, but too much information scrolling through news can negatively impact your health.

Stay connected with your family and friends

  • Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time with the people you care about. Organize a book club, drawing happy hour, or online game night to foster a sense of community. More info on overcoming social isolation can be found here.
  • Pick up a new hobby like gardening, an online learning course, or a personal project that you might not have had time for before. Visit the “Take advantage of online training” section of the TAG COVID-19 resources page for more information.
  • When someone shares what they’ve been working on online, take the time to recognize their work by sharing and commenting on it. Not only will this “feed the algorithm” and help other people discover their work, it also helps provide the positive motivation to keep creating. Visit this article on Dazed for an interesting perspective on the subject.

Reach out and help

  • Volunteering can give agency back to your day-to-day routine. Make masks with the Costume Design Guild, join the LA Labor COVID-19 Volunteer Corps, or donate blood through the Red Cross. Find out ways to get involved on the Volunteer Hub.
  • Donate to food banks and other charities. Our local is lucky to be one of the few parts of the entertainment industry to still be employed and working during this crisis. We can show solidarity by donating what we can to our IATSE brothers and sisters in need.
  • Send a care package to your friends with a personal note. It’s a great way to support a local business while also brightening someone’s day.
  • Support local businesses instead of ordering online. Many small businesses are offering delivery and curbside pick up, and when possible order directly from the restaurant instead of through a third party delivery app that can collect 15% of their bill.