Covid19 has already demanded a complete reshaping of what we call “normal.” On every level there has been a steep learning curve. From immunologists to cashiers, nurses to law enforcement, everyone has been required to make changes day by day based on whatever new information we can get our hands on. And one thing that has not gone unnoticed is the outcry for mental health.
NPR reported on the drastic increase in contacts via phone and text to crisis hotlines over the past couple of months saying in part, “Initially, the spike in traffic was over anxiety about the virus itself. That shifted to complaints of isolation. Now, texters talk of depression and grief.” The WHO released a brief about the need for action in the area of mental health warning, “A long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely.”
Cassie, a San Diegan and mother of three said, “It’s tough. The kids used to spend an hour or two every day playing outside with the neighbors. I can’t replace the energy of a dozen other kids and I don’t get the time to take care of the things I used to. We’re getting on each other’s last nerves.” While San Diego and most of the country continue their slow openings, a look at availability of resources includes support for mental health.
San Diego County has published a list of resources organized by age group around fitness, education, mindfulness and social connections. The CDC also published an index of coping and daily living resources. Additionally, community resources and interests are widely available online courtesy of the generosity of individuals and organizations like story time with astronauts, and tours of San Diego’s greatest attractions.
“There’s been a lot more screen time since this started,” said Cassie. “It’s not all useless. One time we all sat down and watched a broadcast of James Earl Jones as King Lear. Because James Earl Jones. I googled a synopsis while it was on so I could have an intelligent conversation with them about it. A week later on a family zoom call with grandparents I felt like a genius when they spent 10 minutes rehashing the story and why actions mean more than words.”
May is Mental Health awareness month. Be aware that health includes fitness, education, mindfulness and social connections. Resources are prevalent online for all of these and if you are in a crisis, reach out. San Diegans have the Access and Crisis Line (ACL) available 24/7 at 1 (888) 724-7240. Nationwide you can call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. #InThisTogetherSD
By Steven J.
Reviewed by: Heather Hemming