Managing mental health during pandemic, nationwide unrest

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In recent months, many have already been feeling uncertain and anxious, first due to the pandemic and now because of the unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd. Experts say this stress can weigh heavily on your mental health.

“It’s just been challenge after challenge after challenge and that builds up over time almost like a pressure cooker and that valve is starting to rock,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, Executive Director of at ADAMHS (Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services).

When something tragic happens, Jones-Kelley said it’s normal to feel a variety of emotions.

“Right now most people are on edge to some extent and need to understand that that’s a normal feeling to have because there’s been so much coming at us,” she said.

She said knowing when to take a break from social media is key to healthily navigating those emotions. Doing things like going for a walk, reading a book, and connecting with friends can help address those feelings before they boil over.

“I think we’re seeing some of that boiling over right now especially in families of color where families have to have conversations with their children at very young ages about how to behave. How to hold their hands. How not to touch something in the store. All of those things that are normal for the majority of the population but put young black men especially at a disadvantage in terms of just being able to be themselves,” Jones-Kelley said.

She said after addressing mental health, the next step toward healing should be working on a solution to injustice. Those who need support addressing their emotions can contact the Miami Valley Warmline at 937-224-4646. Free confidential mental and behavioral health peer support is available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

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