COVID-19 Inspires a Conversation about Mental Health

Too often when discussing and considering people’s health, there’s a tradition of solely focusing on the physical health and well being of an individual. People increasingly do so at the risk and expense of their mental and emotional health. According to Helen Schifter, this is a problem that is not at all new. Unfortunately, it’s been going on for far too long without any efforts employed seeking to combat it . Naturally, part of this issue stems from a lack of education and understanding among the public of just how intertwined and interconnected one’s physical and emotional health truly are.

This raises the question of why there’s yet to have been a properly coordinated campaign meant to raise awareness of this interconnectivity, and therefore the importance of people monitoring their emotional and mental health far more carefully. The responsibility lies with policymakers and lawmakers given the fact that this is indeed a public interest issue. What could possibly be more important than helping ensure the health and well being of members of the general public?

Helen Schifter has shared this position over the course of the last few years in her writings and blogposts. In fact, many health and wellness experts have done the same. But their calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears for the most part. That is, until the coronavirus health pandemic came into fruition. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to sometimes only be woken up to realities that people would prefer to ignore, until there’s a catastrophe that strikes that forces one to wakeup and smell the coffee.

The reality is that in a COVID-19 world, there are many changes transpiring. Many of these changes are very substantial. People are working from home and remote working may very well outlast the pandemic, even when a vaccine is indeed discovered. This provides people with certain understandable burdens on their mental and emotional health that they would otherwise be devoid of.

There should be efforts expended on the part of members of the public in order to attempt to seek mental health counseling. There are also exercises that one can engage in like yoga, meditation and general fitness activities that can help alleviate stresses that would otherwise exist. For those living in cities, where the citizens are more cluttered than elsewhere, the mental stress associated with that can be greater than for those situated elsewhere. Helen Schifter has said she shares this view, and it’s obvious why.

So the lawmakers in Washington and in their respective states need to invest effort into communicating the value of these exercises to their constituents. These are indeed unprecedented times and there’s no doubt that lives will continue being lost. It’s incumbent upon concerned citizens and our elected representatives to do all in our power to change this tidal wave and combat it accordingly.

Education is the key so that citizens are aware of the risks associated with not preserving their mental health with a guarded eye. The beauty and unique nature of collaboration between the private and public sector should be exercised in this situation. There’s no question it will bear fruit and do so in an incredibly important way.