Mental Health and Moving On
No one welcomes a crisis. However, people usually welcome any improvements that follow an emergency. People around the world have learned much during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the biggest lessons of all, has been the need for mental health services. A shift in thought has taken root, urging people to lay stigma aside and get on with treatment.
“We are witnessing a positive change in public perception,” said Josh Waddell, DNP, MA, PMHNP-BC, NCC, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Lakeview Center, Inc. “We have a history of shaming people and sweeping mental health needs under the rug, but we are currently in the process of removing a large barrier to healing.”
A Suffolk University poll of registered voters revealed that we are in a mental health crisis. What’s interesting about this particular poll is that regular people participated. The feedback isn’t from mental health experts or policy makers. Mental health issues have bubbled to the surface in such great numbers, if you don’t need help, you know someone who does. All this attention is shining light on the need for more resources, and policy makers are beginning to put the wheels in motion.
Countless unnatural changes are causing a heightened sense of worry and sadness as well as full-blown anxiety and depression. Removing stigma from the equation is allowing us to begin reforming a broken system. While we wait on change, we can take some basic steps as individuals to improve mental health in our lives:
- Every day do at least one activity for yourself.
- Have at least one conversation with a human being every day. Even phone or virtual visits can be meaningful.
- Incorporate physical and mental activity into your daily routine.
- Stick to a schedule for meals, sleep and relaxation.
- Most importantly, if you are feeling mentally unwell, reach out to a friend, family member, or a mental health specialist.
“We all have problems, and there is no need for shame. We are resilient, but sometimes we need a little help,” said Waddell. “I’m excited we are moving in a more sensible and positive direction with mental health.”