Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause a strong reaction of emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. After only four months of isolations, the CDC says, “During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health and substance use.” The impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders, increased symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder considerably in the United States during April–June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
Mental health conditions are disproportionately affecting specific populations, especially young adults, Hispanic persons, black persons, essential workers, unpaid caregivers for adults, and those receiving treatment for preexisting psychiatric conditions. During this pandemic people have become more overworked if they are an essential worker. Extra hours and more labor increases lack of sleep and less energy leaving the body in a stressed state. This is especially seen in the hispanic and black communities.
The mental health of teens and even children has dropped as they are isolated in their homes day and night. Their daily routines have been indoors and tiresome. Heritage Christian School student Nehemiah Gillian ‘21, shared his struggles with keeping up with school work and trying to stay motivated with his daily life. Many students felt similar to Mr. Gillian as they expressed their boredom, lack of sleep, lack of motivation, and some shared their struggles with mental health. Another student, shared how they struggle during the isolation periods feeling trapped within their mind with their own fears and anxieties.
Many Heritage students have expressed their mental health struggles throughout this last difficult year and continuing into the new year. Some are struggling with depression, on the verge of losing their drive, and others who have begun struggling with social anxiety due to the long term isolation periods. They share how their lives took a complete turn once Covid- 19 hit our nation. But they continue to hope for a light at the end of the long tunnel as we look for a brighter future in this new year. Students share how they have New Year’s resolution to strive to be a happier and brighter person. Some look to improve their physical health which in the long run will improve their mental health. Others look to reach out to family or health professionals for help with their mental health. There are many ways students can get better, with help from our counselors, teachers, doctors, family, and our friends. There are people out there who want to help you be the best you that you can be.
During this pandemic it is important to help and take care of your loved ones, and more importantly yourself. Helping others cope with their stress, such as by providing social support, can also make your community stronger. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel socially connected, less lonely, or less isolated. Activities such as a morning run, painting, drawing, dancing, or working out can better your physical health and in return better your mental health.
For more activities to do during the pandemic visit the website below and search for the article called, “Safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic”:
If you or a loved one is struggling during these difficult times, please look for help down below with the provided phone numbers, online chats, and websites.
Get immediate help in a crisis:
- Call 911
- Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health:
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889
- Treatment Services Locator Website
- Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers