Tips for coping with mental health issues during pandemic

Dr. Jen Ashton has some helpful advice for those struggling with depression.
2:29 | 08/07/20

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Transcript for Tips for coping with mental health issues during pandemic
And here are some of the major developments we're tracking -- soaring new milestones in confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, the global total now crossing the 19 million mark for the first time. With the death toll here in the United States now above 160,000, as more than 1.5 million Americans recover. With us leading us off here this afternoon, ABC medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. With those types of headlines, there's no wonder so many of us are struggling not just physically but psychologically, we even heard from former first lady Michelle Obama saying she's in a form of low grade depression. Let's talk about mental health during this pandemic, do we know where we stand? Definitely we're looking at it and it's so important as you said to not only focus on the physical and things that you can see but the psychological as well. So take a look at some of the numbers, according to U.S. Census bureau report, now more than 1 in 3 Americans are reporting anxiety and depression symptoms, compared to 1 in 10 at roughly this time last year. A study in the uk found an increase in mental distress, again, year to date, versus one year ago and particularly vulnerable according to that report, women, teenagers, those with preschool-age children seeing the highest rates of anxiety and depression. This is common. Right, and I have always understood that stress comes from trying to change or control something that can't be changed. That's literally the situation we're in right now. So what's recommended for people who are struggling? Well, I think mental health professionals want to get this message out -- there are steps that we can all take at home. Regardless of how we're doing. Number one, this is something that we're all facing, so recognize we're not alone here. Trying to stick to a regular schedule or routine when all of that has been disrupted is also helpful, getting physical activity or some form of exercise for the body also helps the mind. Meditation, very, very important for the spirit. You want to try to avoid self-medication however with things like drugs and alcohol, and lastly, if you're struggling ask for help whether that's a virtual app, in-person support group, there is no stigma here, no shame in this game. And help is available. Those are wonderful tips. The number one is to really realize you're not alone, we're all in this together. Thank you. We turn now to Kyra

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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