The Importance of Emotional Wellness During COVID-19

This week’s guest blogger, Jaime Angelini, is the Director of Consumer Services at the Mental Health Association New Jersey.  She provides important information on emotional wellness through the COVID-19 pandemic.  This time of uncertainty coupled with isolation due to social distancing can cause stress, anxiety and depression. We welcome Jamie’s professional insights that she shares with us below.

Additionally, I wanted to share an article about the recent surge in overdose deaths in New Jersey related to COVID-19.

All the best, 
Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ

 

The Importance of Emotional Wellness During COVID-19
Online and in-person screenings can measure anxiety, depression and more

 

By Jaime Angelini, MA, DRCC, Mental Health Association NJ in Atlantic County

With the pandemic came some new vocabulary, most notably “social distancing.” Two other words, “emotional health,” are making their way into everyday conversations. As a mental health advocate, I say them often, but now I hear them in the daily media.

That’s a welcomed trend.

Many mental health professionals are concerned with the rates of anxiety and depression during this unprecedented time.  

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. I cite that national statistic from Mental Health America often and that’s an important reminder, especially now.

It is normal to have a reaction to an abnormal event, but when the feeling or worry begins to interfere with our day-to-day life, it should not be ignored. One effective way to check in on our mental and emotional health is by taking a screening, which is a short list of questions related to your habits, thoughts and mood.   

Screenings are a quick and easy way to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Most people can finish a screening in 5-10 minutes. Many general physicians offer a screening right in the office. 

Screenings are also offered online, and can be repeated as needed. They are designed to give a snapshot of your wellness during a two-week period. Based on your answers, a score and a brief summary are provided. At the end, the respondent can print out results and discuss recommendations with a general physician or a mental health provider who can offer a full assessment and personalized wellness and recovery options.

Online screenings are free and confidential.  Take a screening today by visiting: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools. In addition to depression and anxiety, screenings are offered for bipolar disorder, eating disorders, postpartum depression, PTSD, addiction and other conditions. 

If you or a loved one is in need of emotional support, contact the NJ Mental Health Cares call line at 866.202.HELP(4357) or text NJHOPE to 51684.

 

Notice: This article reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ). This information should not be construed as legal advice from the author or PDFNJ. Please consult your own attorney before making any legal decisions

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