Tag Archives: mental health

How to survive coronavirus anxiety

Ironically, feeling stressed not only feels bad, but increases the risk for becoming ill. Here’s how to cope.

Dr. Kelli Harding, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York said the best treatment for anxiety is often positive action.

Here are some simple steps you can take right now to feel better:

1. Take a media break

Joshua Klapow, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of public health at The University of Alabama at Birmingham advised, don’t immerse yourself in news about the coronavirus 24/7.

“You have to stop scouring social media and the internet for the latest twists and turns. Stay up to date using trusted sources, like the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then step away,” he said.

2. Wash your hands frequently

It’s something that will actually lower your risk of getting sick. Learn how to do it properly: for a full 20 seconds using warm water and soap. “It’s quite incredible how helpful that is,” Harding noted.

3. Practice good self-care

Get plenty of nutrients by eating fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. “We know that sleep has a direct impact on the immune system. So you can take all the vitamin C you want, but if you’re sleep deprived, your immune system is compromised,” Klapow noted.

“Although those things seem very benign — they don’t seem as potent as putting on a face mask — they are things all of us can do to stay as healthy and as infection-free as possible.”

4. Take sensible steps to prepare

There’s definitely reason to take precaution, so being adequately prepared will provide peace of mind. Ready.gov, the government’s website, has concrete tips, like storing a two-week supply of water and food.

5. Go for a walk outside

Time spent in nature is soothing for the mind and body. Sunlight may lower your blood pressure, research has found. “If you can, get a little sunshine during your day. Take a stroll. Take a deep breath,” Harding suggested.

6. Acknowledge your anxiety

It’s generally unhelpful to tell a highly-anxious person to just stop feeling anxious, Harding said. Instead — whether it’s coronavirus or another panic-provoking situation — it’s useful to just acknowledge the anxiety and work through it. “Name it to tame it” is a mantra in mental health for big emotions, she noted.

7. Write down your worries

Seeing the words on paper or on a screen may stop you from spinning yourself into a frenzy.

“What are you catastrophizing? Write down the things you find yourself thinking and reflect on them. Challenge your own thinking to get it more in balance and reasonable,” according to Sherry Benton, a licensed psychologist in Tampa, Florida, and founder of TAO Connect, which provides online mental health therapy

8. Send a little love to people who you care about

Put together a text message chain or email chain with family on it — that way you can have it set up before it feels like an emergency situation and easily communicate with your loved ones. “We’re definitely not in this alone,” Harding said.

Full text: today.com

Mental health law is a Christmas gift to Filipino families – advocates tell Congress

Mental health professionals, family support groups, youth and advocates on Monday gathered to show support for the Philippine Mental Health Bill, urging the House of Representatives for its final approval of what they call “a Christmas gift to the Filipino family”.

In a press conference in Quezon City, a gathering of advocates called the Mental Health Alliance [MHA] in support of the said bill underscored the importance of integrating mental health in the country’s public healthcare system. House Bill No. 6452 or the Comprehensive Mental Health Act was approved on second reading last month by the House of Representatives. It will be up for third and final reading once Session resumes in November.

“Health is essential to development and there is no health without mental health”, said Dr. June Lopez of the Philippine Psychiatric Association [PPA]. “The passage of the Bill into law will seal the government’s commitment to promote mental health services to Filipinos who need it,” Dr. Lopez added.

According to data provided by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization, 7 Filipinos commit suicide every day and 1 in 5 Filipino adults suffer from a certain mental health concern, the most common of which are depression and schizophrenia. “This is a cause for alarm and should be addressed urgently”, said Dr. Lopez.

Prevention and Not Only Treatment

Dr. Lopez pointed out that both the Senate and House Bill recognize the importance of preventive and community based programs. “With the passage of the Bill, we can foresee the offering of programs that enhance the resilience of individuals, families and communities.” Dr. Bautista added.

As a rejoinder, Dr. Lopez remarked, “We especially laud both the Senate and House versions for considering the specific budgetary provisions to ensure the successful implementation of the law”

Pamasko

“Namamasko po kami sa liderato at mga miyembro ng Kamara de Representante”, urged Dr. Bolet Bautista of the Psychological Association of the Philippines [PAP].

Early this year, the Senate approved on third and final reading its own version of the bill. Once the House of Representatives approves the said bill on third and final reading, it will be finalized by a bicameral conference committee and transmitted to the President for signing into law.

“The ball now rests with the House leadership so we would like to respectfully ask our Representatives in Congress to heed our call: the Philippine Mental Health Bill is long overdue”, Dr. Bautista added.

Broad Support

The Youth for Mental Health Coalition [Y4MH], for its part, claimed that the bill enjoys a wide support base. “The issue of mental health has long been discussed in hushed voices. But nowadays, we feel a change in the public’s mood”, claimed Y4MH’s Patrick Wincy Reyes, a student leader.

“The passage of this bill into law will be celebrated by everyone, young and old. The commitment of the House leadership to this bill will be a victory for the 17th Congress”, Reyes added.

Support in Challenging Life Experiences

“The Mental Health Bill is not only for those with diagnosable mental health conditions. Rather, it is for all Filipinos. Its provisions target the protection and promotion of well-being and mental health of every Filipino”, Dr. Bautista pointed out.

This means there will be mental health services that will provide support to Filipinos undergoing challenging experiences like migration, marital conflict, life transitions, disaster experience, and war to name a few of such concerns.

Mental health in Marawi

In relation to this, the group pointed out that mental health concerns arising out of the experience of armed conflict, such as in war-torn Marawi, are also addressed by the Mental Health Bill. “Those who have gone through war experience much suffering, which could include a sense of being unmoored and hopeless”, said Dr. Bautista. She explained that psychosocial support provided to survivors of major crisis, such as the war in Marawi, will moderate stress reactions, prevent the development of more long lasting disturbing emotional problems, and help promote not just a sense of normalcy but hope and recovery. “Such support must reach civilian individuals and families as well as the soldiers who risk their lives and wellbeing in going to battle”, she furthered.

“All Filipinos are entitled to mental health, good relationships, and a life that offers many opportunities to thrive” Dr. Bautista concluded.

Press Release