By: Destiny Redmond, M.S., APC, NCC, CTP
It’s officially May, and we have once again made it to Mental Health Awareness Month. For the past year, many of us have experienced distressing times that plagued us while in the pandemic. We have lost loved ones, friends, jobs, and missed out on many occasions that we would often spend together worldwide. For lack of better words, this pandemic has given us a “new normal,” which often results in complete isolation and gives rise to loneliness. Even throughout our history’s previous pandemics, we have endured massive loss and change. However, as with each pandemic, we also have demonstrated how resilient we are despite the impacts. In the twenty-first century, we have utilized innovative devices such as the world wide web to work, learn, heal and generate ideas and ways to connect with others safely.
We have also used it to laugh and challenge each other to enjoy life regardless of our current crisis. Although the current pandemic is only a tiny part of our lives that can affect our mental well-being, it is vital to be aware of our current mental state and know how to improve our mental health. While previous pre-pandemic tactics may have worked, the pandemic has generated new problems, such as lack of access to care. Fortunately, mental health professionals have also shifted to technology, providing internet-based services to expand their access and meet the needs of the people.
Nevertheless, it is still essential for us to speak up and reach out to available resources to get our care. We may never know who is available to help or what new services we have to access if we don’t try or ask. Help can be as simple as calling a local or national hotline or speaking with your local healthcare professionals. This is why Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. Mental health awareness helps educate, empower, and most importantly, highlight available resources, giving us a gentle reminder that we are in this fight together no matter the circumstance.