COVID-19 Community Resources

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This page is dedicated to the many resources available to the Mercer Island Community.


This page is dedicated to the many resources available to the Mercer Island Community.

  • Coping with COVID

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    11 Dec 2020
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    "Coping with COVID" is a series put together by public health officials to help individuals and families manage the stress associated with the pandemic.

    Updated March 2021

    Coping with COVID-19: Suicide Prevention. Most of us have experienced feeling burnt out, exhausted, and overwhelmed as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. The risk of suicide, depression, hopelessness, and substance use is typically highest during the disillusionment phase of a disaster, and it’s what we’re seeing right now. Contrary to common belief, the greatest risk of suicide is during the spring, not winter. It’s important we learn how to talk about suicide and suicide prevention when people in our lives may be struggling. Click here for more.

    Coping with COVID: Grief and loss. When natural disasters happen, it is normal for people to experience loss and grief. Many of us have felt some form of loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, like the loss of a loved one, change in health, job loss, or even just the loss of our “normal” life. Any grief and loss we might be feeling is layered on top of all the other stress of a pandemic. Follow this link to learn about how most people experience grief and loss, and provide strategies for families to cope as we make our way through the pandemic.

    Coping with COVID: Healthy communication. During the December holidays in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many opportunities for tough conversations with family and friends. We may have differing opinions on how to celebrate the holidays while keeping ourselves and our families safe, and it can be hard to share those opinions when you want to keep the peace. Click here to learn about what’s happening with our emotions and behaviors, and skills for having challenging conversations during stressful times.

    Coping with COVID: Exhausted families. Right now, many of us are feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from the ongoing stress of living through a pandemic. Both kids and adults can experience exhaustion, where they may feel depleted, like they are running on empty, using up all their physical and emotional energy without a chance to recharge. Learn about about how exhaustion affects both children and adults, and strategies for families to cope as we make our way through the pandemic here.

    Coping with COVID: Developing resilience. Information about mental health and self-care has been popping up everywhere as we collectively cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buzzwords keep showing up to describe what people are going through right now: “burnout,” “compassion fatigue,” and “resilience.” Understanding these experiences can help us care for ourselves in the months ahead, read more here.

    Coping with COVID: Regulating emotions during a pandemic. We’re about eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s a lot going on around us. We’re balancing a lot — work, school, family, and the upcoming holidays — during a time of great uncertainty. If you find yourself reacting more negatively to things you’re experiencing, you’re not alone. Feeling angry or frustrated is a normal response during a pandemic, but there are things you can do to manage those emotions. Learn more about the causes of strong emotional reactions and what we can do to feel more in control during stressful times here.

    Coping with COVID: It’s not just you. Dealing with COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. As we move into fall, we face even more challenges: changing weather, schoolwork, holidays and gatherings, and strong political opinions. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? It’s not just you. The things you’re feeling and experiencing are normal during a disaster, and there are things you can do to cope. To help you navigate this unprecedented time, we are bringing you a podcast series of conversations with experts on many of the topics we’re facing daily. Click here for more.

  • Resources for the Week of March 15

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    19 Mar 2021
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    Mercer Island Mobile Vaccine Teams. Last week, the Mercer Island Fire Department EMT’s started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible Island residents. MIFD Mobile Vaccine Teams are assisting mobility-challenged residents or those who have experienced difficulties in securing appointments. Emergency Management staff have reached out to local long-term care facilities and adult family homes, but if you or a loved one (a resident over the age of 65) needs assistance scheduling a vaccine appointment, YFS Geriatric Specialist, Marjorie Carlson may be able to help. She can be reached at (206) 275-7752 or marjorie.carlson@mercerisland.gov.

    Need a ride to get the vaccine? The vaccine is an important part of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re eligible in Phase 1B- Tier 1, you should get yours now! And if you have Apple Health (or Medicaid), you might even be able to get a ride there. Transportation barriers shouldn’t keep you from getting protected from COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

    King County Household Assistance Request program updated. Do you and your family need financial support to successfully isolate or quarantine? Anyone living in King County who tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a one-time household bill payment of up to $1500 to help pay their current rent, mortgage, utility, water, phone and internet bills. See updates to eligibility to the program and how it works by clicking here.

    Inslee announces extension of eviction moratorium. Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30. Read the full news release here.

  • March Maskness - Mask Giveaway this Friday!

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    23 Mar 2021
    This event is in the past.
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    Mercer Island Emergency Management Volunteers will be in Mercer Island parks handing out masks on Friday, March 12 from 9:00 - 11:00am.

    Swing by and pick up a fresh face covering!

  • Isolation and Quarantine Calculator

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    04 Mar 2021

    Knowing how long to isolate and quarantine for can be confusing but thankfully there's help!

    If you test positive for COVID-19, do you know how long to isolate yourself to keep others safe from infection? What if you learn you are a close contact of someone who tested positive — do you know how long to quarantine? What date can you point to on your calendar that will signal the end of your isolation or quarantine?

    The Washington state Department of Health recently created an Isolation and Quarantine Calculator tool to take the guess work out of it. Visit www.doh.wa.gov/CovidCalculator and follow the instructions based on your particular situation.

  • YFS Parent Support Sessions

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    21 Jan 2021
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    YFS staff understand that parents are facing their own set of challenges coping with remote learning, isolation, family stress, financial insecurity, grief/loss and more.

    To support Island parents, YFS school counselors will begin virtual drop-in, no charge weekly parent support meetings at each of the four elementary schools and one for parents of middle or high school parents.

    Parents can share challenges, learn about resources, and hear coping strategies.

    Look for an announcement from your school counselor(s) with dates and instructions for accessing these meetings on Zoom.

    Questions can be directed to your YFS School Counselor or Derek Franklin, MIYFS Clinical Programs Manager derek.franklin@mercerisland.gov.

  • CARES Act Grant Reinstates YFS Positions

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    08 Jan 2021
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    Seven school-based Counselors and the Emergency Assistance Coordinator positions restored for the entire 2021-2022 biennium.

    At its January 6 Regular Meeting, the City Council voted to accept a $243,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund, supported by the CARES Act. The result of significant efforts on the part of many City staff, this grant will allow the City’s Youth and Family Services Department (YFS) to restore seven school-based Counselors and one Emergency Assistance Coordinator to full-time for the entire 2021-2022 biennium.

    The City’s COVID-19 pandemic response caused unprecedented budget shortfalls early in 2020, resulting in staff layoffs and furloughs in the Youth and Family Services Department (YFS), including a 20% reduction in hours for all eight of these positions.

    Full time school-based counselors will be especially critical for overcoming pandemic-related trauma, loss, and ongoing mental health concerns, all of which may serve as barriers to upcoming school reentry. Similarly, the pandemic’s financial impacts will multiply the longer that restrictions exist, and a full time Emergency Assistance Coordinator will be crucial for families struggling to regain economic stability.

    Read the full Council Agenda Bill here.

  • Care Connect Washington – A New Way to Get COVID-19 Relief

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    11 Dec 2020
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    New program helps people who have either tested positive or been exposed and need support to isolate or quarantine at home.

    On December 9, the DOH announced a new service to help people who have to isolate or quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed.

    Care Connect Washington will provide critical resources to people who need support when they’re staying home.

    The state Department of Health, working with local health jurisdictions and their partners, will introduce Care Connect Washington on a region-by-region basis. Each region will set up a network of community-based partners who will connect people to services they are eligible for, such as medication delivery, health care, help applying for unemployment, local housing agencies, food banks, childcare providers and more.

    Care coordinators will connect people to community-based services to help provide acute care needs that include personal care kits, nonperishable food kits, and fresh food orders delivered to their homes. If other essential needs are identified, such as financial assistance for paying bills, a local care coordinator will work with them to either apply for local resources or services they may be eligible for, or provide direct assistance in paying bills such as rent, mortgage, and utilities. When isolation or quarantine ends, the care coordinator can connect people to longer-term local services to support ongoing health and social needs.

    Click here for information about the program.

  • Youth Suicide Prevention Resources for Parents

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    06 Nov 2020
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    Now, more than ever, we need to understand the signs to help prevent youth suicide.

    Updated On November 2, King County Public Health issued a Health Advisory for increased risk of suicide among youth.

    As the on-going pandemic and the corresponding exhaustion and emotional fatigue that we are feeling continues, combined with seasonal changes and more difficulty connecting with the people and supports that typically help us cope. Young people may be even more at risk due to less access to their typical social networks.

    On Thursday, November 19, MI Parent Edge & the MI Forefront Team (a partnership between MIYFS, MISD and MI Parent Edge) presented a free, virtual event to help parents to learn prevention strategies to help youth in crisis stay safe and get support.

    A recording of the webinar is available. (This webinar, presented by UW Forefront, is the same material that was presented by the MI Forefront Team.)

    The webinar teaches essential skills for suicide prevention for parents and caregivers of youth. Learn how to:

    • make your home safer to prevent the risk of suicide
    • ask your kid about suicide in a safe way
    • recognize the signs of a mental health crisis
    • practical steps to address it

    Don't forget! The City's Youth and Family Services (YFS) team is here to help. Call the confidential Intake Line (206) 275-7657 for more information and assistance.

    More Resources

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

    Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

    Crisis Connections: 866-427-4747

    TeenLink: Call or text 866-833-6546

    Washington Warm Line: 877-500-9276

    WA Listens (crisis line for stress related to COVID-19): 1-833-681-0211

    Additional resources

    KCLS and Youth Eastside Services also offered three programs about teen mental health and health resources for parents. Information about the programs can be accessed below.

  • State Ready to Help with Unemployment Assistance

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    10 Mar 2021
    This article has been archived.

    Pandemic unemployment assistance benefits will not expire for Washingtonians.

    On December 8, Governor Inslee announced that the state will help provide Washington residents with unemployment assistance if Congress does not extend CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funding at the end of the year.

    Follow this link to watch the Governor's announcement.

  • Resources for the Week of November 30

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    10 Mar 2021
    This article has been archived.

    Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map. There are resources across King County to provide emergency food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find food banks, meals to go, and student meals through the Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map.

    Coping with COVID: Developing resilience. Information about mental health and self-care has been popping up everywhere as we collectively cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buzzwords keep showing up to describe what people are going through right now: “burnout,” “compassion fatigue,” and “resilience.” Understanding these experiences can help us care for ourselves in the months ahead, read more here.

    Jobs with King County Available. The jobs website gets updated weekly with new available positions. If you don't see a role that meets your interest and qualifications, bookmark the site and check back at a future date to see what's available.

    Join Becky Reitzes from Public Health – Seattle & King County in Zoom conversation. The conversation will be on the Zoom platform where Becky will discuss the basics of the virus and how to stay safe during the holidays. Please register by 12pm on Dec. 8 to receive a Zoom invite. Click here for more.