InFocus: Mental health awareness during COVID-19 (Part 3)

DON:
YOU ARE WATCHING 22NEWS
INFOCUS.
TODAY, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL
HEALTH DURING THE COVID-19
CRISIS WITH KIMBERLY LEE, VICE
PRESIDENT OF RESOURCE
DEVELOPMENT AND BRANDING FOR THE
MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION.
MENTAL HEALTH IS AN IMPORTANT
PART OF OUR OVERALL HEALTH AND
WELL-BEING.
IT AFFECTS HOW WE FEEL AND ACT.
IT AFFECTS HOW WE DEAL WITH
STRESS AND HOW WE MAKE CHART —
VOICES DURING AN EMERGENCY.
WHAT ARE HEALTHY WAYS THAT WE
CAN COPE WITH THIS KIND OF
STRESS?
KIMBERLY: IT IS A REALLY GREAT
QUESTION.
ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE.
IT IS ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE
BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO
DESCRIBING HOW WE FEEL
PHYSICALLY, OR HOWIE COMMUNICATE
TO A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE ABOUT
HOW WE MIGHT BE FEELING
PHYSICALLY, WE DO NOT HESITATE
AT ALL TO TELL PEOPLE WHEN WE
HAVE A MIGRAINE, WHEN OUR BACK
HURTS, WHEN WE HAVE AN UPSET
STOMACH.
SOMETIMES WE GET A LITTLE BIT
TOO MUCH INFORMATION WHEN OUR
STAFF LEAVES VOICEMAILS ON WHY
THEY ARE CALLING SICK THAT DAY,
BUT WE VERY RARELY TALK
FREQUENTLY ABOUT HOW WE ARE
FEELING EMOTIONALLY.
SO ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS TO DO
TO HELP RELIEVE STRESS IS TO
JUST TALK ABOUT IT.
IT IS TO TALK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE
FEELING.
TO TAKE
BREAKS FROM UPSETTING
CONTENT.
SOCIAL DISTANCING CAN TAKE ON A
NEW
MEETING — IT IS SOCIAL
MEDIA DISTANCING.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK FROM
SCREEN FATIGUE.
THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH INFORMATION
WE CAN ABSORB IN OUR BRAIN AND
WHEN WE ARE CONSISTENTLY
INFILTRATED WITH MESSAGES THAT
ARE COMING ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA,
IT CAN BE TAXING.
WHEN YOU COMBINE THAT WITH THE
STRESS OF COVID, WORKING FROM
HOME, TRYING TO MANAGE YOUR
CHILDREN'S HYBRID
LEARNING, IT
CAN BE TOO MUCH.
ALSO A REALLY GOOD TIME TO TAKE
STOCK AND HOW YOU ARE FEELING
PHYSICALLY AS WELL AS
EMOTIONALLY.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.
EAT RIGHT.
MINIMIZE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.
THIS MIGHT ACTUALLY BE A GOOD
OPPORTUNITY TO STOP SMOKING AND
AFFECT YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH IN A
POSITIVE WAY, WHICH WILL IN TURN
AFFECT HOW YOU FEEL EMOTIONALLY.
DON: IF YOU HAVE A
LOVED ONE,
FOR EXAMPLE, HAVING TROUBLE WITH
ANGER, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, WHAT
SHOULD YOU DO?
KIMBERLY: SURE.
WE TALK A LOT AT MHA
ABOUT THE
IMPORTANCE OF ASKING PEOPLE HOW
THEY ARE FEELING IN ORDER
TO
START A CONVERSATION OR TO START
TALKING.
IF YOU SENSE THAT SOMEONE MAY
NOT BE FEELING WELL EMOTIONALLY,
WE USE AN ACRONYM THAT IS CALLED
AFR.
A IS FOR ASK.
ASK THEM HOW THEY ARE FEELING.
ASK THEM WHAT COULD POTENTIALLY
BE BOTHERING THEM.
ASK THEM, TELL THEM
THEY — THAT
YOU NOTICED THAT THERE IS A
CHANGE IN HOW THEY ARE BEHAVING
AND YOU ARE ASKING IF THEY
ARE
OK.
AND YOU WANT TO BE SUPPORTIVE.
THAT IS THE S.
YOU WANT TO SUPPORT, YOU WANT TO
HELP THEM, WHICH THEN LEADS US
TO BE R, WHICH IS TO
REFER.
REFER THEM TO A COUNSELOR.
REFER THEM TO THERAPY THAT COULD
BE HELPFUL TO THEM.
ASK.
SUPPORT.
AND RESPOND.
DON: DUE TO THE INCREASE IN
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, MANY
PEOPLE ARE REPORTING THEY HAVE
DIFFICULTY GETTING AN
APPOINTMENT.
WHAT IS — WHAT IS AVAILABLE FOR
SOMEONE WHO NEEDS HELP RIGHT
NOW?
KIMBERLY: THERE ARE CERTAINLY
–IF SOMEONE FELT THAT THEY WERE
IN CRISIS, THERE ARE CRISIS
SERVICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE IN
OUR COMMUNITY.
THE BEHAVIORAL NETWORK

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NETWORK.
THERE IS ALSO THE SUICIDE
PREVENTION HOTLINE, WHICH IS
800-273-8255.
AND THERE IS OF COURSE THE
MHA'S
HEALTH CLINIC, WHICH WE ARE VERY
FORTUNATE
AND EAGER TO LET THE
COMMUNITY KNOW THAT WE DO NOT
HAVE A WAITLIST.
WE ARE ABLE TO SEE PEOPLE IN
SITUATIONS ON THE SAME DAY
OR BY
THE END OF THE FOLLOWING DAY.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO
KNOW — 84
4-MHA-WELL.
DON:
YOU MENTIONED ALCOHOL
CONSUMPTION SO I WANT TO CIRCLE
BACK TO THAT.
THERE ARE NUMEROUS STUDIES THAT
ISOLATION AND ALCOHOL — THE TWO
DO NOT MIX.
ARE YOU NOTICING AN INCREASE IN
PEOPLE SELF-MEDICATING?
KIMBERLY: SURE.
STRESS DURING THE
PANDEMIC, WE
KNOW HAS REALLY LED TO AN
INCREASE IN MEDICATION OF
PRESCRIPTION AND NONPRESCRIPTION
ILLEGAL DRUGS.
AND THE RETURN TO A SUBSTANCE
WHEN FOLKS HAVE BEEN IN RECOVERY
FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME.
A RECENT STUDY FROM THE AMERICAN
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION SAYS
THAT AS
THE PANDEMIC CONTINUES, SO DO
ES THE OPIOID PANDEMIC.
THERE BEEN CONCERNS ABOUT
REPORTS THAT SUGGEST
THERE ARE
INCREASING NUMBERS OF OPIATE
RELATED MORTALITIES.
MORE
THAN 40 STATES HAVE
REPORTED INCREASES IN OPIOID
RELATED MORTALITIES, AS WELL AS
GROWING CONCERNS FOR THOSE WITH
MENTAL ILLNESS.
DON: IT IS REALLY
SCARY BECAUSE
ALL OF OUR ATTENTION IS ON
COVID-19 AND WE ARE NOT HEARING
ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS RIGHT
NOW, IT SEEMS, BUT IT DOES STILL
EXIST.

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