The mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant with people all across
the globe experiencing increased stress, anxiety, depression, and rates of substance use. In this
session, we will discuss some of the important factors contributing to distress, how to know when
you or a family member might need more support, types of VA resources available, and self-care
practices that can help you cope with the challenges of pandemic life. We will even try out a few
self-care exercises in the session.
Dr. Alethea Varra is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Chief Mental Health Officer for
the Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Network (VISN 19), covering Montana,
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma. She has over 17 years of service within the VA and
has a particular interest in improving access to care and treatment options for Veterans in rural
and under served regions.