With some businesses reopening and people returning to work, mental health experts worry the transition could be stressful at an already challenging time. They’re shining the spotlight on this issue as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
After weeks of isolation, stepping back into the world post-COVID-19 can trigger anxiety.
FOX 13 spoke to Dr. Kristin Francis, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah.
“I think there`s some uncertainty about how strict I should be? Am I at risk? Are other people that I`m with at risk?”
Dr. Francis says it’s ok not to feel ok. But it’s important to think through anxious feelings.
“Right now this is temporary, and even though it`s unprecedented things are constantly changing and it`s not going to be like this forever,” said Francis.
She says the key is to notice the things you’re doing right.
Angela Petersen cares for her 26-year-old daughter who has been diagnosed with a serious mental health condition. Petersen also works for the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI. She says those with mental health issues may feel added stress, but her daughter has found an outlet. She paints rocks and leaves them on trails for people to find.
“She finds that if she`s focusing on being artistic and being productive then she doesn`t have time to focus on all the things that are different.”
For those who are experiencing mental health issues for the first time, Dr. Francis says it’s important to catch the symptoms early and ask for help.
“These are treatable conditions and we have support. We have medications available. We have resources, support lines,” said Francis. “It`s really good right now to be proactive.
NAMI has many resources available. Due to COVID-19, they are offering virtual meetings. They also believe there’s a power in your story and ask that you share your story as part of their “You’re are Not Alone” campaign.
Click the link here for more information.