The COVID-19 pandemic and all the resulting problems of its creation. Including a health crisis, access to care, job loss, and financial struggles have negatively impacted many people’s mental health. This pandemic is exposing an overwhelming number of people who struggle with mental health and the lack of support for them in ordinary times. We need to address the issues that arose with the pandemic, exposing further issues like depression, anxiety, malaise, and stress.
Experts expect that the continuing crisis and losses will exacerbate mental health issues in otherwise healthy individuals. The closure of schools, shelter-in-place, and social isolation measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19, were necessary. Although, they have increase distress for countless people in the United States and around the globe.
For those on the frontline, burnout, stress, and anxiety have increased exponentially.
Working with or around people who could potentially have the virus causes stress most of us will never know or fully understand.
Older adults are at specific risk of suffering increased mental health issues like depression because we (society) have inadvertently left them with no support in our efforts to protect them. Our attempts to stop the spread often increase their vulnerability to mental health decline.
Teens and young children who’ve in virtual school, away from friends and family in isolation at home, are of particular concern because of the loss of social connections. They may suffer from depression, anxiety, or phantom illnesses, aa a manifestation of their emotional unrest.
If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, there are some things you can do to help ease the burden or minimize their anxiety.
First, contact your healthcare provider to discuss what you’re struggling with and come up with a safe plan to ease the strain and help you move forward. Besides the support of your physician, there are several online resources and virtual counseling sessions.
If neither of those is an option you can pursue, you can do things at no cost to you.
- Calling a friend or a trusted confidant.
- Hosting a virtual meeting through platforms like Zoom with friends and family.
- Exercising daily to increase endorphins and lift your spirits.
- Prayer, meditation, journaling.
- Doing something safe that you enjoy.
The bottom line is there are options. You are not in this alone.
By Ava Mallory