Friday, October 9, 2020

What mental health professionals have learned six months into pandemic care

To get through the chaos of 2020 and beyond, clinicians suggest sticking to the basics of self-care—and reaching out for professional help when it’s not enough.

Outdoor time can be very beneficial for boosting mental health during the pandemic, experts say. - Pixabay

Marion Renault
Popular Science

Almost immediately after the coronavirus pandemic began, it became clear a parallel mental health crisis would accompany it.

By early April, a Kaiser poll showed, nearly half of Americans were already feeling the mental and emotional toll of Covid-19. According to more recent federal data,  symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders have more than tripled among U.S. adults compared to this time last year—with women and Black and Latinx communities most acutely impacted. Other research and reporting suggest the pandemic has exacerbated symptoms for people with disordered eating, substance use disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and other diagnoses.

“Certainly, when the pandemic set in, there was a lot of stress for our members,” says Dr. Lynn Bufka, a psychologist in Maryland who develops resources and policy to support practicing psychologists  in her position with the American Psychological Association. “That was the biggest worry—'How do we do this?'”  Read more >>