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Mental health issues magnified during COVID-19; Experts offering help

Experts offer tips on mental well-being amid virus
Posted at 6:25 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 19:25:16-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Mental health issues have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic for not only the general public but for therapists and clinical psychologists as well.

"Everything you might imagine that happens in mental health practice is still going on, but now it's magnified," licensed clinical social worker with Associated Counseling Professionals Terry Moore said.

These issues are magnified and intensified for those who already suffered from some sort of mental illness before the outbreak.

"A lot of my OCD suffering clients have really been troubled. Even some old clients have returned to treatment because they've been re-triggered into some of the old behaviors," Moore said.

COVID-19 is also sparking new mental health issues. Even for those in the mental health field, like Moore.

"I'll be honest with you, this has taken a toll on me and I'm pretty clear that nationally it's taken a toll on a lot of therapists," Moore said.

Moore's telehealth sessions are nearly completely booked. The uptick in things like anxiety, depression and OCD aren't just local. According to a tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 50 percent of American adults say the pandemic has affected their mental health.

"It really does mess with people's mental health and getting through these times is going to be very difficult," Mental Health Association of Nebraska executive director Kasey Moyer said.

The Mental Health Association of Nebraska is a non-profit run by individuals with mental illnesses themselves. They offer peer support and resources to those struggling. Executive Director Kasey Moyer says we can get through the crisis if we just take the time to focus on our mental well-being.

"It's even more important for us to be extremely intentional about our daily activities and what we're doing to stay well," she said.

Some tips to take care of your mental well being include:

- Eating a good balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep
- Limiting alcohol
- Exercising
- Taking part in relaxation activities like yoga

The Mental Health Association of Nebraska offers free online support and wellness group activities. Visit the “MHA-Ne Peer Support and Wellness group” page on Facebook for more information.

Keya House Warm line
402-261-5959

CenterPointe Crisis Helpline
402-475-6695

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-8255

Nebraska Family Helpline
1-888-866-8660