Resources & Support During COVID-19

March 20, 2020

One of the most important things you should be doing during the COVID-19 pandemic is taking care of YOU – your physical, emotional, and mental health. We’ve created a list of resources for you with different options and ways to get help.  

Not sure who or where to ask for help? Students can reach out to Melanie Matthews, Student Support Manager, at or 320-308-5096. Melanie can help you sift through the resources available to you, including helping you figure out which services you are eligible for.  


Unfortunately, you or someone you know may lose a job as businesses cut hours or close. During the pandemic, access to unemployment insurance in Minnesota has been expanded. If you or someone you know is unemployed as a result of COVID-19, please visit 

Fare for All provides low-cost food packages once per month. Find a location near you.

Food Pantries & Shelves are located throughout Minnesota. Find one near you at this link.

Parents of children enrolled in ISD 742 may pick up food for their children. More information is available on this page.

WIC is a program that helps eligible pregnant women, new mothers, babies, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. More information.

SNAP is a program that provides food assistance to families in need. Learn more.

United Healthcare is offering an emotional support help line for all students - call their toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free of charge and open to any student. Students have access to specially trained mental health specialists to support them if they are experiencing anxiety or stress related to the recent developments around COVID-19. 

The JED Foundation provides many tips for self-care and advice for times you or others you know need help:

ULifeline Self-evaluator provides a screening that will help you learn about what you’re experiencing and make recommendations for self-care or professional, local resources.Take the self-evaluation.

24-hour Crisis Hotline – Call 1-800-635-8008 to receive local mental health crisis support or access the Crisis Response Team. 

24-hour Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 for anywhere, anytime, about any type of crisis. A volunteer crisis counselor will help.        

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free 24-hour hotline available for anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

There are a lot of apps available on Google Play or in the Apple App Store that can help you with meditation and relaxation. Here are a few that might work for you:

  • Headspace – an app that uses guided meditation to help lower stress, focus more, and sleep better
  • Happify – an app that uses exercises and games designed to reduce stress and overcome negative emotions
  • What’s Up – an app that helps people cope with depression, anxiety, stress, and more while also helping people better understand their positive and negative habits through the methodology of Cognitive Behavior Theory (CBT)
  • Mindshift – an app geared toward young adults and those experiencing unmanageable anxiety for the first time; it focuses a lot on relaxation skills 
  • Calm – an app that focuses on 4 areas; meditation, breathing, relaxation, and sleep; the aim is for clarity, peace, and joy (Apple’s app of the year in 2017)
  • Pacifica – an app helping people manage their mood, depression and anxiety with a focus on mindfulness and CBT
  • SuperBetter – an app that uses games to help people focus on resilience, and the ability to remain strong, optimistic and motivated

None of these are replacements for true medical professionals, and if you are concerned about your safety, please use the Crisis numbers provided in the section above.

The Child Mind Institute has prepared tips for speaking with children about COVID-19 

A lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads can cause fear and anger. The best way to counteract stigma associated with COVID-19 is to educate yourself by knowing the facts: 

Students who are concerned about discrimination or harassment should contact Debra Leigh, Interim VP for Cultural Fluency, Equity, and Inclusion, at or 320-308-5998. 

Employees who are concerned about discrimination or harassment should contact Deb Holstad, Director of Human Resources, at or 320-308-3227. 

Stearns/Benton County Hotline: 1-877-782-5683  

Minnesota Department of Health:  


Remember: If you have questions, or if you are not sure who or where to ask for help, students can reach out to Melanie Matthews, Student Support Manager, at or 320-308-5096. 

Kate Wallace
Posted in News, covid