The LCADA Way rolls out a charitable event every year — its Pearls of Wisdom Gala — and this year the recovery services nonprofit held a safe, family-friendly event at Crushers Stadium. Inside an arena that seats thousands, the few hundred that attended the Sept. 19 Diamond Day could social distance; and a celebrity softball game with local elected officials and athletes entertained the group.

“We thought outside of the box, and we met every Covid guideline,” says Joe Matuscak, director of marketing and development.

Pivoting to meet the community’s needs is how The LCADA Way has continued to deliver its recovery services during the pandemic, and now more than ever, there is a critical need for mental health and addiction counseling, says Lisa Stevens, director of women’s services.

Stevens offers some pointers for staying connected and managing your mental health during a challenging time.

Journal Your Thoughts. With paper and pen, begin by writing whatever is running through your mind. “Don’t worry about grammar or spelling — just write what you’re thinking,” Stevens says. “That might be, ‘Here we are, it’s Wednesday and I’m stuck inside, I can’t take it anymore….’ If you go back to what you write later, it might signal a need to get additional help.”

Get Out. “Take a walk, get some fresh air,” Stevens says, emphasizing the importance of outdoor breaks when you’re working from home or helping children e-learn.

Make Connections. Maintaining social connections is important to prevent isolation. Call a friend or loved one. Gather with others on a Zoom video call. And, if you know of someone who is alone, make an effort to reach out.

Ask for Help. Do you wake up feeling anxious or have trouble sleeping at night? Changes in eating and sleep patterns are some signs that it’s time to ask for help. “It might just be situational, and many people are experiencing this,” Stevens says, adding that further isolating yourself and loneliness are also red flags. “If you had a medical condition or felt sick, you would go see a doctor — and it’s the same with mental health.”