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Public health experts are optimistic COVID-19 is becoming more predictable, yet anxiety and depression caused by two years of uncertainty and mounting pandemic fatigue remains. For many, the worries over  financial instability, supply shortages, and self-quarantines and social distancing continue.

For those already dealing with mental health challenges, uncertain times can become overwhelming, creating a sense of helplessness and an urge to withdraw.

Now is the critical time to continue mental health treatment plans and monitor for any new symptoms.

Talk to your doctor

Keep the lines of communication open with your mental health care provider. In the event you don’t feel comfortable in a health care setting for fear of contracting the virus, telehealth may be an option. Talk to your provider to see what services are available online. For most people with a smart phone and an internet connection, it is possible to have a virtual visit.

Keep up with your medications

Maintaining your medication regimen is an important aspect of your health. Ask your health care provider about getting a 90-day, mail-order supply of your prescribed medications. If this option isn’t available to you, be sure to keep track of when your prescriptions are set to run out and refill them as soon as it’s allowed.

Join a virtual support group

There are numerous free online support communities and emotional support hotlines to help you feel less alone. Visit the National Association of Mental Illness HelpLine Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide for a complete listing of virtual groups.

Regularly check in with yourself

Increased stress or anxiety is understandable during difficult times, but understanding when these symptoms are warning signs of a worsening mental health condition is critical. Check in with yourself often and monitor how you’re feeling. If you’re noticing persistent problems like trouble sleeping, feelings of hopelessness or more, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider for mental health resources or extra support.

Help in an emergency

If you or a loved one is in imminent danger of harm, call 911. Other immediate options for help include calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517). The National Suicide Hotline is also available at 1-800-273-TALK.

However, assessment and treatment for mental health issues doesn’t always require emergency psychiatric services found at your local emergency room or inpatient care. In fact, behavioral health specialists like Oceans Behavioral Hospital, offer intensive outpatient programs that allow you to live at home and continue normal activities.

A balanced, multi-sided approach to treating mental health issues is critical to improving overall well-being.

As a nationally recognized provider of behavioral health services, Oceans Healthcare treats patients experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, behavioral changes related to medication management or substance abuse and other behavioral issues. Please contact us if we can help you or your loved one with their mental health challenges.

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