May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and its goal is to raise awareness, promote the importance of mental health services, such as therapy and neuropsychological assessments, battle the impact of stigma and educate the public about mental illness.
This year with the outbreak of COVID-19 we are facing a unique set of challenges. Many of us are heading into the third month of the stay-at-home order and quarantine, which has caused a major disruption to our routine, anxiety about physical health, job security and social isolation. A recent poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 45% of adults have reported the pandemic has impacted their mental health.
The American Psychological Association and other health organizations have provided useful guides to help the public to cope with the impact of the pandemic on our emotional and psychological wellbeing. The implementation of coping skills and reinforcement of protective factors are important to combat the negative impact that quarantine has on our mental health. However, working with a therapist during this time can help in many different ways, such as helping clients identify effective and personal coping strategies, having someone to share the stress that comes from the often changing situation and understanding the impact of dealing with a stressor that has imposed on us restrictions that are largely out of our control.
If you find yourself on the fence about trying therapy for the first time or returning to it, know that our work has not stopped. We continue to adapt to the times and are providing services through telehealth and many insurance companies are covering these services, which helps alleviate some of the stress of affordability.