Monday, May 27, 2024

Mental Health Gut Check — When Do You Talk To Someone?

Medical providers are being stretched more than ever before while looking for resources and ideas to help clients in need.

Kristin, a single mom in a suburb outside of Madison, Wisconsin recently shared, “I need my village — this is too hard.” Individuals everywhere are turning to social media to share frustrations and pandemic prep advice while starting to wrap their minds around what’s coming next with COVID-19 — a virus barreling through communities.

With over 43 million Americans faced with the stigma of mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shared that the fear of stigma often keeps people from wanting to seek help. The Barna Group shared trends of U.S. adults in 2018 and found that 42% have seen a counselor at some point in their lives. In fact, Barna’s findings indicate that, “One-fifth of Millennials (21%) and 16% of Gen X are currently engaged in therapy.” 

Would counseling help Kristin, a mom faced not only with her own mental health, but protecting the health of children in her home?

Trauma, such as a pandemic can bring many emotions like grief, trepidation, and anxiety. The American Psychological Association (APA) has created a page on pandemics for providers to better understand how to serve potential clients like Kristin. Flush with information on minimizing stress, encouraging healthy discussion and creating innovative new approaches to address anxiety, providers are being stretched more than ever before while looking for resources and ideas to help clients in need.

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Photo by Anthony Tran via Unsplash

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) is acknowledging the complex and often unspoken emotions that come with a pandemic’s effects on the human mind. They found: 

“In any epidemic, it is common for individuals to feel stressed and worried. Common responses of people affected (both directly and indirectly) might include: 

  • Fear of falling ill and dying 
  • Avoiding approaching health facilities due to fear of becoming infected while in care 
  • Fear of losing livelihoods, not being able to work during isolation, and of being dismissed from work 
  • Fear of being socially excluded/placed in quarantine because of being associated with the disease (e.g. racism against persons who are from, or perceived to be from, affected areas)” 

It’s no wonder both  providers and individuals are struggling to find ways to navigate the much-changed day-to-day activities and perhaps a changing future as well.

RELATED: Doctor’s Advice On How To Ease Anxiety Around Coronavirus

If you or a loved one is struggling during the COVID-19 epidemic, professionals believe reaching out and asking for help is one of the best ways to tackle emotions and bring clarity. If you’re unsure how to move forward, it may be time for a mental gut check. Consider looking into these resources ready to listen and help: 

  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255
  • CDC Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call:

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)


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