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Coping With Mental Health During COVID-19

As of August 15, 2020, Coronavirus has spread to over 5.4 million people in the U.S. alone. Along with this comes a wave of uncertainty for the future. Not only do we have the highest cases in the world, but they don’t seem to be going down anytime soon as some people still don’t take quarantine or social distancing seriously.

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a quarter of young adults in the United States said they had considered suicide in the previous month. 45% of Americans have reported distress during the Coronavirus, and it’s even worse with essential workers. More than half of essential workers reported at least one mental health symptom, and 22% reported suicidal thoughts. Not only do they have to continue work amidst a pandemic, they are responsible for the health of others too.

The main causes of stress during COVID are fear for your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on. This can result in changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, worsening chronic health problems, worsening mental health conditions, and increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances.

Everyone reacts differently and is affected in different ways. There are different ways to handle stress depending on what is bothering you. If you’re feeling lonely, the best thing to do is try to reach out to friends and set up calls, watch movies together online, join an online community, etc. It may sound generic, but it is a good way to keep in touch. If you are overwhelmed, the best thing to do is set 20-30 minutes per day as time for yourself where you sit quietly and collect your thoughts. If you feel scared, just remember that it’s a natural response. One technique that might help is asking yourself what your concerns are and what you can do to stay safe.

By being sheltered, people are struggling more with mental health. It’s harder for some people to reach out to their friends and they don’t have much to do to keep their mind off of what’s happening. If you need immediate help in a crisis, here are 3 numbers to call:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

  • Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990

-By Elizabeth Wu

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