So how are you feeling right now?  Every one of us is coping with unprecedented circumstances due to the coronavirus. During this crisis, many people may experience added stress, anxiety, and depression.  It is challenging for any of us, but especially for people who suffer from mental disorders.  One in five people and millions of Americans will face some type of mental illness throughout their lifetime. May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  It a good time for us to check our own mental health and be aware of the mental health of the people we love. 

Mental health treatment during the coronavirus pandemic is extremely important to ensure continued care for people already receiving treatment and for others with new symptoms.  We need to realize that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.  We are not alone, and there is no shame in seeking treatment if you are having difficulty coping and now there are many alternatives to in-person consultations, including virtual visits and even mental health apps. With telemedicine or telepsych you can video chat with doctors and therapists online even during this time of social distancing to get the help you need. Insurance companies are also making it easier to access these alternatives given the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Locally, the Mental Health Association in Atlantic County offers various support groups online and detailed information on mental health and how to get help. Nationally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI is another great resource for support guidance and education.

You should never be afraid to ask for help when you need it and you should never hesitate to encourage those in need to get help or to help them. We need each other now more than ever. 

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