Did you know that in the United States, 1 in 5 adults struggle with mental health? While our mental health is equally important to our physical health, 60% of mental illness cases go untreated according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. During the stressful and uncertain time of a global pandemic, it is important that we talk about our mental health and get proper support for ourselves and our loved ones.
What is mental health? According to the World Health Organization, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
What is mental illness? The CDC defines mental illness as the conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.
How can our mental health be affected during a global pandemic?
- Fear about the health or ourselves and our loves ones
- Worry about finances and job security
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or a loss of appetite
- Worsening of existing chronic health problems and mental health conditions
What are ways of maintaining a healthy mental state during COVID-19?
- Stay connected with our loved ones in a safe way
- Taking breaks from watching or reading the news
- Seeking new hobbies or activities that we enjoy
- Learning to manage our stress and anxiety
- Becoming aware of our feelings and emotions
- Expressing our feelings and emotions in appropriate ways
- Getting enough sleep, physical activity, and nutrients
- Helping others and staying connected with our communities
- Asking for help and seeing a professional
If you feel that you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, please contact a medical professional.