COVID-19 | Oct. 7, 2021

Work-Life FAQs

 

C1 Q: Who can help me with financial assistance?
A: See question J2 for new military pay and entitlements, but there are additional resources for financial assistance:

Personal Financial Managers at each Work-Life Regional Practice can help all Coast Guard members, civilians, and their dependents with financial education, financial counseling, and complex financial issues.

Command Financial Specialists are the unit's point of contact on financial education, basic budgeting, and resource referrals. If your unit doesn’t have a Command Financial Specialist, e-mail hqs-smb-familysupportservices@uscg.mil or reach out to your assigned Personal Financial Manager.

The CGSUPRT Personal Financial Wellness Program offers unlimited 30-minute money coaching sessions by phone, plus online live webinars and recorded webinars for all Coast Guard members, civilians, and their families. Free tax filing with H&R Block is also available. Research financial solutions or schedule a consultation at www.CGSUPRT.com or calling 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778).

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA), offers interest-free loans, grants, and referrals for Coast Guard members and civilians. CGMA’s assistance package for COVID-19 includes loans for loss of pay, child care costs, quarantine assistance and temporary medical relocations. CGMA also offers grants to help with basic school supplies, including digital learning aids, study books and printer ink.

Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness shares resources on mortgage payments, student loans, unemployment, and small business relief. Please visit this website for more information: https://finred.usalearning.gov/COVID19-Resources#main-content

 

C2 Q: What do I do if I recognize I am stressed?
A: Fear and anxiety about the pandemic can be overwhelming, and create strong emotions in both adults and children. The CDC has some tips for managing stress related to COVID-19.

Coast Guard members and civilians may experience secondary traumatic stress as a results of personal or professional experiences.   This type of stress reaction result from ongoing personal or professional exposure to individuals or families who have been traumatized or impacted by traumatic events such as the pandemic.  The signs or symptoms of secondary traumatic stress include feelings of isolation, increased irritability sleep disturbance and withdrawal.

Below are some strategies that you can implement to reduce secondary traumatic stress reactions:

  • Acknowledge that secondary traumatic stress can impact anyone helping families, the community and friends during or after a traumatic event or an extended period of prolonged stress.
  • Educate yourself on signs and symptoms of secondary traumatic stress - including physical (fatigue, illness) and Cognitive (fear, guilt). Behavioral (withdrawal, increased alcohol use) and emotional (guilt, numbness, depression).
  • Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  • Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19 or other negative events in the news.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for yourself, or family or is impacting or work responsibilities.
  • Reach out to your command if you feel overwhelmed or concerned about work operations or home life.
  • The USCG’s Family Advocacy Program can assist during this time: Call 202-475-5100 to locate your Work-Life field office.

For more information, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-responders.

 

C3 Q: I find myself drinking more alcohol than usual and wanting to pick up smoking again to deal with the stress during this time. What support services are available to help me?
A: Learn to “Box Breathe!” Google it now. It works! Take a walk with no destination. Now read on.

Our research has shown “Move a muscle, change a thought.” Incorporate daily stress-reducing activities, get quality rest, and practice good self-care.  Substance abuse help is always available, including through internet/phone 12 Step meetings or through your Substance Abuse Prevention Team. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists (SAPS) are also available via the SAPS Duty line at (757) 628-4329. For support with smoking, try Smokefree.gov. You can also talk with your chaplain, or set up free counseling through CG SUPRT.

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Team (SAPT) has created a Recovery Guide to assist. It has excellent resources including many helpful sites from our partners at Hazelden Betty Ford, Thoughts for the Day, access to on-line meetings and a host of helpful nonjudgmental, confidential sites at your finger-tips.

 

C4 Q: Someone I care about seems to be really struggling right now. Where can I get immediate help or resources to refer this person to?
A: The Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) offers free and confidential help through the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.