Although we might feel physically isolated during the novel coronavirus outbreak, we are not socially isolated thanks to technology.

In fact, mental health experts are encouraging people to seek quality social support during this time, and keep in touch with others through video calls, texts or social media.

“It helps to share our thoughts and feelings,” said Dr. Katy Kamkar, a Toronto-based clinical psychologist.

Kamkar suggests that people in self-isolation virtually participate in social events with their loved ones, such as birthday celebrations or even dinner.

“Knowing that we are not alone and have quality social supports has been found to help our mental health, adding positivity… and healthy coping [skills] in our lives.”

Even video chatting with co-workers is important because working from home can get lonely, and we all need social and emotional support.

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Here are some video chatting platforms you can use to maintain connection, whether it be with family members or colleagues, while physically distancing during the outbreak.

FaceTime

What it is: FaceTime is a video chat platform available on Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers that run Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later.

Price: FaceTime is usually pre-installed on Apple devices and is free of charge. All you need is an AppleID, Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G connections.

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