Digital Exclusive: Stress from COVID-19 pandemic affecting people’s mental health

Local News

(KCAU) — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress for people which in turn is affecting their mental health. 

People are having to worry about the concerns related to the virus, financial hardships they’re facing, and the way schools are now set up. 

Rashel Bark, clinical manager at Siouxland Mental Health Center, said having good mental health is always very important because it’s a part of who we are and connects with the physical and spiritual well-being.

“That’s a way that keeps ourselves balanced. During this pandemic, all of that has been very challenged. We’ve been put into situations that are ever-changing. We never really know from day-to-day what our routine may look like. Even when we seem to get it down, it changes at a drop of a hat,” said Rashel Bark, clinical manager at Siouxland Mental Health Center.

Positive mental health is beneficial for children because they know less about the situation the pandemic has created than adults do. 

Lisa Bye, a therapist at Heartland Counseling Services, said parents should take some extra time to spend with their kids to make sure they feel safe and secure. 

“Allowing the kids to express themselves freely and express some of their fears and concerns. Allowing your children to do that will allow them a release of their own stresses,” said Lisa Bye, a theraptist at Heartland Counseling Services.

According to the CDC, mental health affects how we think, act, and fell, as well as how to handle stress, and relating to other people. 

Some ways people can have positive mental health is by keeping active, such as doing an outdoor activity like walking or biking. 

“Also, then just staying connected with our friends and family. Those people that we find to be supportive of us and they’re important to us in our life. So, we can do that, if we can’t get together, doing things like FaceTime, phone calls, even doing some letter writing. Doing those types of things can be really helpful,” said Bark.

The CDC adds coping with stress in a healthy way will not only make you stronger but also the people you care about. 

Bye mentions the best time for someone to reach out for help with their mental health is before it gets to a situation that’s a crisis. 

“It is important, before you get to a point of crisis, that you are reaching out for help whether it is with a family member, whether it is with a professional, your church, to reach out before that point so that we don’t get to those crisis situations,” said Bye.

Heartland Counseling Services will be hosting it’s annual Mental Health Awareness Walk and Fair on Saturday from 11 a.m until 2 p.m. at the South Sioux City Riverfront.

Siouxland Mental Health Center has two hotline numbers for people to call, one for during business hours at 877-493-2273 and the other is the After Hours CRISIS hotline at 712-279-2010.

Heartland Counseling Services has two Crisis Response Team numbers for people to call, which are 402-494-7655 and 877-958-7776.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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