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Published on June 30, 2021

The Pandemic is Improving, But My Mental Health is Not

Vaccination rates are on the rise. Mandatory health restrictions are being loosened across the country. Best of all, infection rates and hospitalization rates are drastically dropping. Many Americans are happily leaving the confines of their homes and returning to a sense of “normalcy” – dining out, shopping and going back to work.

However, many of us are still at home, feeling very uncomfortable and nervous, much as we did when the pandemic shut down the world in summer of 2020. Why is this?

Many believe that the pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis in our country. If you think about this it does make sense. The shutdown created worry and panic much like a disaster. After tornados and hurricanes, the Red Cross disaster mental health team jumps into action to provide mental health first aid – they are trained and on alert for those who need mental health resources. The pandemic is not over, but we are defeating the virus. Thus it is up to each one of us to work together to look out for our friends, family and ourselves - much like the Red Cross mental health teams.

Still Feeling Nervous? Try These Things:

  • Limit your exposure to social media. Don’t dwell on pandemic news reports and social media reports. Only look for positive messages and read news not related to the pandemic.
  • Take things slowly. Just because others are jumping back to “normalcy” that doesn’t mean you have to. Wear a mask to the store if that makes you more comfortable. When you are ready to take off your mask in the store you will know. Continue to use hand gel and PPE as needed to make you feel comfortable. Loosen up the restrictions at your own pace.
  • Connect with others. Find people that you trust and can confide in and share your feelings of anxiety. Sharing your feelings with others is very helpful, and you’ll feel much better processing these things with people you trust. Connectedness is one of our best mental health allies.
  • Always have the 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call this number or 911, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

We Can Help

If you think you might have anxiety or another mental health condition and it is interfering with your daily life for a period of 2 weeks or longer, there is help and there is hope. Mental illness is treatable.

Bryan Medical Center behavioral health services offers a free screening to help you determine if you are experiencing a mental health disorder and provides direction on next steps. To talk to someone at Bryan behavioral health services call 402-481-5981 and select the service you desire or select #7 if you are not sure which service you need.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dave Miers, PhD, is director of behavioral health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He helped establish the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999 and chaired/co-chaired this Coalition until 2017. He currently serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Miers is a member of the leadership group for the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Miers has published research and co-authored a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Clinical Suicide Research focusing on family survivors of a child suicide. Dr. Miers helped develop the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in Lincoln, Neb. He also helped develop other LOSS teams in Nebraska and is active with LOSS team development on a national level.

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