Nearly 40 percent increase in mental health concerns during pandemic, local resources to help

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The pandemic has affected us all in different ways in nearly

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The pandemic has affected us all in different ways in nearly all aspects of life.

For some, this pandemic might be their first time experiencing depression or anxiety. For others, it may make getting necessary mental health help more difficult. A recent study by the CDC shows that they’ve seen a 40 percent increase in people experiencing mental health and substance use concerns.

Dr. Dave Miers, the Director of the Behavioral Health Program at Bryan Medical Center, said normally it’s expected 1 in 5 people will experience mental health problems in their life and the pandemic may only exacerbate that. He said the unknown of it all coupled with long-term isolation recommendations can really take it’s toll.

Dr. Miers said if your sleep and appetite habits change, you become irritable, lose interest in things you normally enjoy or have suicidal thoughts, it is time to reach out for help.

“Mental illness can affect anybody. Women, men, children,” Dr. Miers said. “Research shows that depression and anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses out there. With early treatment for depression, 90 percent of those that get treatment get back on their feet relatively quickly.”

Men are less likely to ask for help and it is critical to break that stigma, according to Dr. Miers.

“It’s important to change that mindset,” said Dr. Miers. “We help them reframe that. You know, it’s a sign of strength to ask for help. If you take care of yourself first and get that strength back, then you’re going to be stronger to take care of your family.”

Bryan Health has a free, confidential online screening for depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Find that here.

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