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Your View: Pandemic mental health

Your View: Pandemic mental health

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Regardless of your opinions, I think we can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard.

For those who were already struggling with their mental health, the pandemic exacerbated those issues. Many people who have never struggled with their mental health are now facing new anxieties and stressors. Looking out for ourselves and others can help us feel less alone.

So, what can we do? Talking to a doctor or therapist is always a good option. They can provide their expert opinion and give referrals to other resources within your community. Finding community or connecting with family, in a safe way, is another great option. Combatting isolation can be done by FaceTiming or calling those you miss, finding a Facebook group of people with similar interests, experiences, or struggles, or participating in low-risk activities.

The CDC has great information about what activities can be done safely and what activities are higher risk.

If you are in crisis or aren’t sure where to turn, contacting your community service board is a great option. They provide 24/7 crisis response and can get you set up with continuing services if needed. Financial assistance and sliding scale opportunities are usually available. Most insurance is accepted.

Contact your local community service board for further questions. If you or someone you know is in crisis or has thoughts of harming themselves or others, call 911 or the crisis number at 1 (866) 589-0265.

» Services for Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, and Wythe counties and Galax: https://www.mountrogers.org/ Phone: (276) 223-3200; Crisis: 1 (866) 589-0265

» Services for Washington County, Virginia, and Bristol, Virginia: https://highlandscsb.org/ Phone: (276) 525-1550 Crisis: 1 (866) 589-0265

» National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — services in English and Spanish: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Phone: 1 (800) 273-8255

» Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio en Español Teléfono: 1 (888) 628-9454

» Online Crisis Response Chat, all members trained and certified in crisis response: https://www.imalive.org/

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