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Pandemic Precautions vs. Mental Health

As the world struggles anew to contain COVID-19, concerns are growing regarding its long-term impact on mental health. Factors, such as:

  • Hospitalization

  • Long COVID symptoms

  • Exposure and Quarantine

  • Willingness and access to get vaccinated

  • Mask mandates

  • Lengthy unemployment or underemployment

  • Working from home

  • Insecurity related to basic needs

  • Uncertainty about the future

  • Inadequate childcare

  • Misinformation and politicization

Are increasing experiences of:

  • Domestic violence

  • Separation and divorce

  • Crisis hotline use

  • Overdoses and deaths from alcohol and drugs

  • Suicide

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Postpartum Mood Disorders

  • Isolation

  • Overwhelm

  • High blood pressure

As we enter a new chapter of this pandemic, it will be imperative to

  • Increase trauma-focused care and training

  • Increase mental health providers and access

  • Ensure that mental health parity is enforced

  • Strengthen telehealth platforms and peer support

  • Help children access the mental health resources outside of schools

  • Create systems of support for health and mental health workers and first responders and hotline workers to address burnout and vicarious (secondary) trauma

  • Track outcomes of interventions that are designed to address these mental health concerns

As citizens, we can all help ourselves and our communities by

  • Checking on our coworkers, neighbors, friends and relatives especially those who are prone to psychological distress, live alone or bear the burden of caregiving loved ones

  • Volunteering

  • Spreading factual information from reliable sources

  • Committing to self-care practices for yourself and your family

  • Exercising regularly, moderating our alcohol and protecting our sleep

  • Engaging our children in conversations about health and safety

  • Following the guidelines of mental authorities to decrease proliferation of virus strains

  • Spending time together and in nature


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