Maintaining mental health amid a pandemic

This is how you can combat stress at work and at home during the pandemic, as we enter Mental Health Awareness Month.
7:13 | 05/03/21

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Transcript for Maintaining mental health amid a pandemic
As the pandemic enters its second year Pew Research Center now reports about a fifth of the US US adults that is are experiencing high levels of psychological distress. The National Eating Disorders Association help line also has experienced a 40% jump in overall call volume since March 20/20. And now many Americans are anxious about what returning to work might look like. So it may be mental health awareness month let's take this conversation to our virtual roundtable clinical psychologist doctor Alley mid to. Eating disorder therapist actually McCann and director at the university of Connecticut health disparities institute. Doctor was apparel are all with us today thank you all for being here doctor Mattel star review. Employment has been a major Strasser during this pandemic a lot of people lost their jobs others are now starting to head back to the office after working from home for a while. What's your advice on how to handle work related stress yours right now. Yeah it's really difficult time Diane and that I would say one of the real me to do is take things one step at a time. Where all are turning to our very different worlds than the one we are and B or so. Practicing how to navigate this stabbed to reenter the world who in whatever situation. It might be for you to you know once evident at a time. Finding wasted communicated that powerful emotions that you might be experiencing. And getting very comfortable asking for help what this pandemic has shown is none of us get through it by ourselves we all need the support of the community so finding ways to reach out for help in whatever way you can right now is probably the biggest and the hawks too if I would have for everyone watching. And doctor Powell we've seen people of color disproportionately affected by this pandemic but mental haul services and mental health issues. They also tend to be more stigma ties in communities of color so how did combat the stigma that comes with admitting you need help especially in communities of color. Thank you for that question Diana I think it's important to level set so that we are a nation that struggles mightily with mental health stigma. And that we have a culture of emotion suppression that release our nation. And it impacts how we seek help how we talk about her emotional lives and that's not something that's just unique to black indigenous people of color. But at the same time there are significant stigma around mental health. And those communities that are related to a lot of previous experience with health systems that are not necessarily treated those people. Come with respect dignity and to grant him access to quality care so I think that overcoming the stigma. Have to be a kind of national effort and one does not just focused on those communities of color but that really elevate the need in our nation to pay attention toward middle help. We need in this nation mental health parity. Which wit. Actually legislatively sends a signal the we are all in this together and that asking for help for mental health problems is not something that one should be ashamed of. Actually let's talk about the intersection between mental and physical health in the isolation of the pandemic. Lot of people turned all kinds of things for. For comfort and me and just to get them through that day and some of those things weren't great for them you've you've mentioned that people with no previous food issues. Develop them during the pandemic can explain that a little more. It across the country. Boehner Ben Tate in out of normal daily structure and stability and the isolation asking priests arch. Mental health issues across the board so we're seeing this. Which people who already had diagnosed eating disorders and now people who had been home in isolation. With environmental triggers went mental emotional triggers. People are seeking what they can make the limitations and not being able to leave the house. Is there aren't typical coping strategies more people are likely. I went arm's reach. And and come out to children. Get a little ones have had just such a hard time really during this pandemic there are some silver linings try to get to spend more time of them have got to do some little ones but it's clear. Did remote learning has affected their socialization. It's just hard for them to stare dazzle zoom squares so how worried should parents. See about this sin and what will it take to help kids purely a get on and what would you might call more normal track. As saying it's a great queen Terry and it's been a really difficult kids especially. Or younger elementary school kids where it's it is more developmentally normal few concerns about germs and hand washing. And we know for middle schoolers eight way in which they learned. He's through sheer interaction and answers socialization and good news here is most of our kids are are going to be resilient they're going to bounce. Or they might have struggles learning how to get back into the school routine most of Margaret going to be okay what I am concerned about are the kids who haven't had very equal access to technology to the Internet and to it. Who might also have learning disorders and it made it very typical war room whose parents have been on the lost jobs or have been. Experiencing their owns dressers Odom the important thing to remember your appearance is there's a lot we've learned most of the kids are going to be okay. And if you noticed that your child is struggling more than with what they're pure might eat out to look for well what I as an encouraging all families to do was all your child seeking granted to one good friend that's what we all need children and adults at least a connection to one good current. And ask CNN New York Times also reports that eating disorders in teens have exploded in the pandemic using that sometimes. Thing that we do to try to help can actually make things worse so what are some of the do's and don't hear of this is happening to your kid or a loved one. You know whenever this time. He money or about asking you can Jeter is year old amber who support them and next are seen as possible. Never eat. When you have someone. In an earlier point there are better. Morton research so much. Acts and support get a snowball seek treatment and treatment center start addressed it he gets seriously never question. And doctor Pollack let's talk about that for people who are struggling. Where does mental health treatment stand access to it and what should people do. So first of all we don't have enough access to mental health services in our country to meet the needs and demands of top of the population that's a huge problem. But there are opportunities to access those services and community. Health centers and do your primary care physician and two organizations like mammy and others that are providing boots on the ground support forum for people the important thing is to get the help you need. And to recognize it is okay if you're feeling distress is actually probably normative. Given the prolonged its carries a physical distancing. And isolation that we've all been experiencing. Mining sector out in mid two accident can doctor wisdom how we appreciate your time today thank you.

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

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