A message from Ann McLaughlin, Ph.D., BIAPA President

We wanted to reach out to express our encouragement and support during this stressful time because of changes related to COVID-19.  It is sometimes helpful to think of such challenges as an “episode”  with a beginning,  a middle, and an end. 

Certainly, increased anxiety is to be expected because of the virus and related restrictions.  We encourage you to focus on anxiety management strategies.  We also encourage you to reach out for support from family and friends. 

Some specific suggestions:

Know about the virus and recommendations.  Virus symptoms include fever, dry cough, body aches, and shortness of breath.  Contact your doctor if you are concerned. We posted a fact sheet in accessible language about COVID-19 in the News section of our website.  You can download it here.

Practice safety precautions by washing hands, avoiding touching your face, avoiding contacts with groups in the community (social distancing), clean surfaces, limit travel.

Anxiety management: 

  • If watching the news increases your anxiety, limit your exposure to the news
  • “Stay in the present”…   let’s not worry about the unknown/future
  • Use distraction.  Now is the time to catch up on TV shows, movies, blogs, books.
  • Practice relaxation.  Remember to breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Get rest.

Worry management:

Sometimes after a brain injury, individuals can “get stuck” and think repetitively about a single topic.  This may happen to you in this stressful time.  Practice distraction….turn on music, TV shows, reach out to friends, read.

Support: Reach out to family, friends.  Use resources as needed.  Some resources are listed below:


Ask therapists about possible teletherapy (phone) session
Access blogs or online support group
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-TALK
Meditation and Relaxation exercises

  • Apps such as Breath2relax; Calm; Insight Timer;Breathe
  • YouTUBE videos on topics such as
    • Yoga: Yogawithadrienne.com
    • Relaxing music
    • Meditation

We are thinking of you and wishing you and yours the very best!