ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It's Mental Health Awareness Week -- a time to check in with how we're coping emotionally, which is especially important during a pandemic.
A study from the CDC this August found 40 percent of adults in the U.S. are living with stress and anxiety during the pandemic. The agency provides this list of ways to navigate those mental health issues.
Psychologist Dr. Lisa Martin says people should be aware of the signs when stress is becoming too much.
"People are more angry and irritable. There's more anxiety and worry and fear that just can't seem to calm down or be relaxed. Problems with sleeping and eating, more alcohol and substance abuse," Dr. Martin said.
If that's happening, you might want to get professional help.
The nonprofit Mental Health America ranked each state in the U.S. based on the number of mental illness diagnoses among adults and access to healthcare. On those standards, Florida ranks 24th in the country. MHA says more than 47 million Americans are living with a mental illness. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says less than four-percent of those people actually seek treatment.
Many doctors recommend talking with friends, family or even a therapist to work through how you're feeling. Make sure you're getting the right balance of exercise and sleep, along with a proper diet. Taking care of your body is one of the easiest ways to take care of your mind.
The organization Resources to Recover has put together this list of professional resources to get more help:
- Florida Department of Children and Families–Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program (SAMH)
- Florida Medicaid
- National Alliance on Mental Illness–Florida – The nationwide advocacy group represents families and people affected by mental health disorders in the U.S.
- 2-1-1 is a free referral and information helpline that connects people to a wide range of health services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The group has also put together a page of information specifically for those who are struggling with their mental health because of coronavirus.
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