The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected life as we know it. Mental health has been brought to the forefront of many people’s minds, as the entire world struggles with how to adapt to our “new normal.” May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so even if you aren’t cognizant of any major changes, it may be a good time to check in with yourself or a mental health professional. At Healthy365, we help Hancock County residents find the best local resources to aid in their mental wellness.
Studies on COVID-19 and Mental Health
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been continually monitoring the mental health of American households during the pandemic, in addition to their research of the virus itself. As of March 2021, the CDC has reported that upwards of 44% of American adults were dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety, up from a historical trend of 8-10% in 2019.
The study used a weekly online survey called the “Household Pulse Survey” adapted from traditional depression/anxiety screenings (the Patient Health Questionnaire and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale). The age range with the highest reported symptoms was 18 to 29-year-olds, and females consistently reported higher levels of symptoms than males. As of May 5, 2021, Indiana was ranked seventh highest in the country for symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Coping with Stress During COVID-19
In addition to their survey reports, the CDC has also issued helpful guidance for dealing with stress. Symptoms of stress (some that you may not even realize) can include feelings of fear, worry or numbness, changes in appetite or energy, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, physical reactions like headaches, stomach problems or even rashes, and worsening of existing chronic health problems or mental health conditions.
Although it is natural to feel anxious or depressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also healthy ways to manage it. The CDC recommends taking a news or social media break when necessary, as well as making time to unwind with activities you enjoy. You should also try to stay connected with others, as well as community or preferred faith-based organizations. And perhaps most importantly, take care of your body by eating healthy, regular exercise, sleeping well, and continuing with routine health visits. The CDC also recommends getting vaccinated for COVID-19, which you can do locally at Hancock Regional Hospital.
Local Resources for Mental Wellness
At Healthy365, our Support Navigators can connect you with local resources to get the help that you need. For those seeking mental health support, we can help connect you with mental health professionals, support groups, and resources for self-care.
If you are struggling financially due to the pandemic, we can help you find food, career, and educational resources to get you back on your feet. And for those who have found themselves in the midst of addiction or substance misuse during the pandemic, we can help find a local behavioral health provider, treatment center, or program that best serves your well-being.
If you are looking for local resources to help you or a loved one through the difficult days of the pandemic, contact Healthy365 today at 317-468-4231. We know that together, our community can make a difference in our collective mental health and wellness.