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Reflecting on 2020 while mentally turning over a new leaf to 2021

Posted at 2:23 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 19:22:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY — 2020 has introduced new challenges within our lives and the year has treated each person differently. However, despite the challenges and hardships some many have faced, doctors are recommending that you take some things learned this past year with you into the ‘new year’.

“The mental health impact of this pandemic has not hit us all equally,” said Dr. Travis Mickelson, a Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director of Mental Health Integration at Intermountain Healthcare. “The more we worry about what might happen in the future or worry about what has happened in the past, that can do nothing but increase our feelings of anxiety and depression.”

Referencing studies completed in November of 2019 and 2020, Dr. Mickelson says that rates of depression and anxiety doubled among Utahns within the one-year span.

“The age group that has been most impacted in terms of their mental health has been young adults but if you think about young adults these are people in our community who had to graduate high school or start college virtually,” said Dr. Mickelson.

Whether you had something to celebrate this past year or not, it’s recommended to celebrate the symbolism of what took place in 2020. Doctors say that ‘finding a silver lining’ could be the best way to lead into 2021.

“We want to be able to look back at 2020 and try to find out what we’ve learned and how it’s made us stronger,” said Dr. Mickelson. “Take those elements from what we’ve learned and incorporate them into our year next year.”

Intermountain Healthcare created an Emotional Health Relief Hotline (833-442-2211) that is staffed by caregivers seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Since April, more than 5,500 calls have been made to the hotline for assistance.