Looking out for your mental health amid coronavirus pandemic

Looking out for your mental health amid coronavirus pandemic

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - This is a stressful time for most of us and mental health experts in the Tri-State are checking in on our community.

Mental Health America Executive Director Emily Reidford says, on a typical day, one out of every five people faces a mental health concern.

However, with what is going on today, she imagines that number could be four out of every five, which is why it’s important to look out for yourself and others.

When Emily Reidford arrives to work, she knows she’ll likely hear from someone having one of their worst days.

“We try to figure out what is happening right now with them," Reidford said. “It’s usually never one thing. Usually, they’ll call for one reason, but with just a couple of questions, this is going on, and this, and also something else.”

For some, social distancing can make life feel cold and dreary. Reidford says to think of social distancing as a new opportunity to connect in a different way.

“It doesn’t have to mean social isolation,” she said. “In fact, I think, myself included, I’ve been more social in the past couple weeks, but it’s just been different. It’s been phone calls, it’s been texts and that conversation. I think we have to get better at communicating.”

However, she knows that is easier said than done for some. She tells me one of her greatest concerns is for those who may feel suicidal at this time.

“What my fear is, though, is that once things do start getting back to normal, is those people who were having a hard time coping and who are still having a hard time coping may use that as an option,” Reidford said.

Although right now, it may feel like a long road back to normalcy, Reidford says you have to keep in mind, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We are all just trying to figure this out, but don’t stay there too long. Let yourself be better, feel better and keep pushing forward," Reidford said.

Now is also a good time to check on your loved ones. Reidford says just a simple, “How are you doing?” can make a difference.

It’s also important just to listen if someone needs you.

If you or someone you know may be in distress or suicidal, the suicide prevention lifeline is always open.

That number is 800-273-TALK.

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