COVID-19 Takes its Toll on Mental Health: CMHA

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The Windsor-Essex County Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is asking people to stay connected in a safe way amid concerns over COVID-19.

Speaking on AM800's the Dan MacDonald Show, Mental Health Educator Jenny Lee Almeida says it's ok to feel afraid, anxiety or depression during these types.

"With this world into all this uncertainty, the constant news, it is absolutely imparitive that we are checking in on people because it is taking a toll on everyone on everyone' mental health."

Almeida is encouraging using technology like Facetime instead of texting and picking up the phone to call a friend or family member.

She says the so-called social distancing is really about physically distancing yourself from people so changing the language may help people who are prone to mental issues.

"It is nicer if we retrain our brain to just say we are physically distancing ourselves because if we allow ourselves to say we are physically distancing and doing what we can, it changes the way we are viewing things." 

Even just talking out loud about those worries, it is o.k to validate these fears, says Almeida. "The feeling anxious, it is absolutely a normal response, it is getting to know our fight, flight, freeze response."

She is also encouraging people to try different coping methods to deal with stress and cut back on social media.  

The CMHA is encouraging people to exercise, eat healthy, do yoga and breathing exercises.