Image from the World Health Organization's new guide to handling stress
  • The World Health Organisation has put out a guide to coping with stress during adverse times, which includes advice about unhooking from unkind thoughts and being kind to yourself.
  • The book wasn't specifically designed to help during COVID-19, but was years in the making, informed by field testing.
  • Its release echoes what WHO leaders have been saying for weeks: we need to take mental health seriously during the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With most of the world still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation has put out an illustrated guide to coping with stress, which comes with segments on grounding yourself and unhooking from unkind thoughts.

The guide, published April 29, coincides with the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, marked globally in May. Though it was commissioned years before the pandemic, it echoes much of what WHO leaders have been speaking about over the last few weeks: we need to take mental health seriously during the pandemic.

"Although it wasn't specifically developed to help people manage stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that it will help people who are currently feeling under stress as a result of the pandemic," WHO communications officer Alison Brunier told Insider in an email.

Some sociologists have warned the public about an impending "grief tsunami," as many mourn the deaths of those who have passed due to COVID-19, and many suffer the effects of being socially isolated or lacking support for mental health, eating disorders, or alcohol use disorders. Overdose deaths are on the rise in many states, from Texas to Pennsylvania.

The guide was put out by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use and comes with audio narrated by African voiceover talent Sanjo Ogunseye and illustrations by Julie Smith. It is currently being translated into other languages, and the translation versions will be online sometime in the next few weeks.

An image from the World Health Organization's new guide to handling stress

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