May 2, 2021
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, it is more critical than ever to pay attention to your mental wellbeing. After more than a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects on mental health have been staggering.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly four in 10 adults in the United States have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression as a result of the pandemic. Nearly 36% have reported sleeping issues, 32% have reported eating and appetite issues and 12% have reported worsening chronic conditions due to worry and stress.
The reality of our homes also functioning as workplaces, schools and gyms has taken a toll on many. Add to this the financial stressors caused by layoffs, furloughs and job loss; lack of physical contact with family members, friends and loved ones; and the fear of contracting the virus, and it is clear COVID-19 is impacting our collective mental health — especially for those with pre-existing mental health conditions.
Fortunately, there are things we can all do to take care of our mental health during these challenging times:
Maintaining your mental health is a top priority as communities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. If you feel overwhelmed, are struggling to sleep or have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, don’t suffer alone. Contact your primary care provider — like a nurse practitioner — or other health care provider, or reach out to any of the national resources below:
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, thanks to the quick work of the scientific community in developing vaccinations, but the mental trauma can last beyond the reopening of our communities. This Mental Health Awareness Month, shake the stigma associated with self-care and prioritize your mental and emotional wellbeing.