Dr. Wendy Chung
Date Published: March 19, 2020
These are stressful times, and things are changing daily in the face of COVID-19. Our routines have been disrupted, and we are quickly trying to adjust and keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy. The changes can be especially disruptive for our SPARK community as we are missing the routine that lends stability and the support from therapists, educators, and behavioral health care professionals who are integral parts of our lives.
Many families are also facing additional financial burdens and uncertainty leading to anxiety and short tempers. However, times like this define us and are the true test of our courage. As a SPARK community, we are strong and resilient.
We created SPARK to provide the ability to learn from each other in real-time and share that information back. Our large numbers of over 200,000 individuals enrolled in SPARK across the United States will allow us to learn quickly, be nimble, and apply what we learn. We have an opportunity to all pitch in and help each other come together, at a time when we are physically keeping our distance.
I invite you to complete the brief surveys that will be coming to your inbox. It should take you no more than 5 minutes and will allow us to see across the country how COVID-19 is affecting our SPARK community and importantly what strategies you have discovered that have eased the burden, opened your eyes to new opportunities, or allowed you to work remotely with your support team.
We want to get the word out about what is working as quickly as possible and to rigorously document the impact on our community. We aim to repeatedly survey the SPARK community to continue to monitor the impact over time. With each survey, we will rapidly turn around results and share them with you.
Be well, wash your hands, and pitch in for SPARK.
Wendy K. Chung, M.D., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, SPARK
Please note: If you have questions about SPARK and COVID-19, please view SPARK and COVID-19: Participant Q&A.
For Mental Health Emergencies
If you have concerns that someone at home is depressed or thinking about hurting themselves, help them call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or use the Lifeline Chat.
If you have concerns that someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves or others, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
For Medical Emergencies
If you are experiencing a COVID-19 or other medical emergency, visit the CDC’s What to Do if You are Sick guidelines.