This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we want to acknowledge the important role that mothers play in our lives and in society. This year especially, many mothers find themselves pulling extra duty  –  women are carrying a heavy load at home during this pandemic,  more likely to take on the additional child and eldercare responsibilities caused by the national shut down.

With added responsibilities of homeschooling, little down time during the day, and worry over aging parents – some in isolation – coupled with uncertain economic times and  a relentless news cycle about COVID-19, many mothers are experiencing heightened anxiety and stress. And unfortunately, many are turning to alcohol as a result.  According to the online magazine, “Alcohol sales were up 55% at the end of March, and online alcohol sales were up a whopping 243% in the week ending March 21. Even people who typically only drink on evenings and weekends only may find it easier to drink more right now. Alcohol is also being used as self-medication, with people drinking a much higher than typical amount to dull fear and panic during this stressful time.”

Here at Lionrock, we have been adding more women’s only groups to accommodate women who may want to meet in an all-women environment. In some groups, women focus on the unique challenges of mothering during COVID-19: homeschooling, working from home, never leaving the house. These women are often bombarded on social media by a “Mommy Needs Wine”: culture of memes and jokes and even merchandise. For some women, who have not previously identified as having a substance use disorder, they are questioning their day drinking or increased alcohol intake.

Our online structure provides a safe, flexible and convenient way to seek support. And in addition to our women’s only groups, and our traditional intensive outpatient programs, Lionrock is now offering free COVID-19 Anxiety Support Meetings, several times weekly. The COVID-19 Anxiety Support Meetings are 60  minute sessions, held via secure video conference, allowing participants to join from the privacy of home. They are accessible for free internationally as well. Support meeting session capacity is limited to 50 and available on a first come, first served basis. Counselors from Lionrock’s programs will run the sessions and focus them on education and coping skills. Participants need an Internet-connected device with camera and a private place from which to access the group.

The COVID-19 Anxiety Support Meetings schedule and video link to access can be found here.