NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mental health experts have called the pandemic a kind of "perfect storm" for negatively impacting mental health.
In addition to the fear, grief and anxiety around the virus itself, the pandemic has brought on for many people financial instability, job loss, isolation, uncertainty around school and work and related political disagreements.
In the year since COVID-19 upended daily life, mental health struggles have skyrocketed. Often, the hardest action we can take on our mental health journey is the very first one: reaching out for the first time to a friend, walking into the first support group meeting, finding a therapist or calling a support line. It is time we all take care of our emotional wellbeing in the same way we tend to our physical health, before we reach a moment of crisis.
More than half of U.S. adults -- about 53% -- reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the pandemic, according to a nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following:
-Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
-Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
-Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
-Worsening of chronic health problems.
-Worsening of mental health conditions.
-Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
-You may experience increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
If you have concerns about your or someone else's mental health, please contact a medical professional or call 1-800-273-TALK(8255) for a free, confidential conversation. As part of Mental Health Action Day, ABC7NY will hold a town hall on May 20 to put a spotlight on mental health action.
Resources to help you and others who may be experiencing a mental health crisis:
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746. Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico can text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: 703-524-7600 or call your local NAMI by visiting their website to find their local number
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
National Institute on Aging: 1-800-222-2225 or call TTY at 1-800-222-4225
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889
The Trevor Project: Access information preventing suicide and Trevor's unique resources for LGBTQ youth.
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) is the nation's public-private partnership for suicide prevention. The Action Alliance works with more than 250 national partners to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Current priority areas include: transforming health systems, transforming communities, and changing the conversation.
National Alliance: NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI works to educate, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones.
Child Mind Institute: The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.
Seize the Awkward: Having a conversation about mental health might be uncomfortable, but it can make all the difference. Check out these tools - from conversation guides to tips -that can help you help those in need.
The Jed Foundation: Transitioning into adulthood can bring big changes and intense challenges. The Jed Foundation (JED) empowers teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults.
Local Mental Health Helplines
If you are overwhelmed right now, the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help.
Mental Health Association in New York State works to end the stigma against mental illness and promotes mental health wellness through education, advocacy, community-based partnership programming and counseling. For assistance or more information, please call (518)-434-0439.
Get Help Now Don't wait. Connect with someone who will listen and help.
Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
NAMI-NYC Helpline 212-684-3264
The NJ MentalHealthCares helpline offers telephone counseling, emotional support, information and assistance in helping to get behavioral health services needed by you or a loved one. For assistance or more information, please call the toll-free, confidential number: 1-866-202-HELP (4357).
Those who may be having suicidal thoughts should call 1-855-NJ-HOPELINE (855-654-6735).
NJ Vet2Vet, is a toll-free helpline, 866 VETS-NJ4 (866-838-7654) coordinated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. This support is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
NAMI-NJ Helpline (732) 940-0991
Are you worried about yourself or someone else?
Are you thinking about suicide?
If you live in Connecticut, please take one moment and dial 2 1 1 and press 1. If outside of CT, dial 1-800-273 8255
NAMI-CONNECTICUT Helpline (860) 882-0236
American Psychological Association Tip Sheets
Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health
SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889