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Dragonfly September 28th, 2020
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May

19

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Consumer Health Minute: Mental Health During a Pandemic

Posted by on May 19th, 2020 Posted in: Health Literacy/Consumer Health
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Research has shown that social isolation can pose a health risk, pandemic or not. And, now numerous news stories, blogs, and social media have posted about the effects of isolation and its effect on work, at home, and our mental well-being during this current health crisis. You and the communities you serve are also feeling these effects.

Though some states are lifting their stay-at-home restrictions, we will most likely continue to experience various levels of continued social distancing. How can you help? Here are some resources to assist your patrons and communities to help them through this time of isolation.

  • The CDC acknowledges the stress that disease outbreaks can cause individuals and that we all experience this stress differently. Their website provides a more comprehensive approach to mental well-being by including information for parents, for those with pre-existing mental health conditions, and for those at high risk.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health provides a whole host of social media messages regarding COVID-19 and mental health for you to use.  Messages are also available in Spanish.
  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) also has their list of resources. You may find the “Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak” and “Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks” most relevant for current needs.  The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline is available 24/7 which provides immediate crises counseling for those experiencing emotional distress during a human or natural crisis.
  • The World Health Organization includes information for parents, if you’re an older adult, and for those who have a mental health condition. Social media messages and posters are readily available.

Image of the author ABOUT Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the NNLM Pacific Northwest Region. She works with various libraries and community organizations to increase health literacy in their communities.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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