I am usually an upbeat type of person but today I sat through several presentations on how COVID-19 has impacted our children and their caregivers. The information was limited to North Carolina but the speakers stated that we are following the trend seen across the country.
The number of child abuse cases, suicide cases and how many are reporting signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety is increasing. The number of ‘accidental discharges’ from firearms has increased. Behind this is an increase in the accidental overdoses of medications with opioids being the number one medication that is used.
How fitting that today is International Overdose Awareness Day. I am lifting hugs and prayers to those of you who have lost loved ones to this.
This is not a new concern to those of you living with others who have been struggling with these issues or who work in this field. Being isolated in our homes and not being able to interact with others is going to cause these type of issues to worsen. Most of us are social butterflies and even those introverts among us crave more human interactions.
Reducing the stigma of mental illness by talking about mental health in an open manner needs to be a family affair. You have to be able to confide in one another without being shamed so that you or your loved ones can engage with care in a timely manner.
You need to be able to have open conversations with your children and other family members so if one of their friends ‘cries out for help’, they will know that they can reach out to someone to get them the care that they need. They need to know that they can come to you if they need help.
What if it is you who needs the help? Have you hit the end of your rope? Do you have someone to confide in?
You may have taken over caring for your elderly parent or other family members. Do you have a support team in place to give you a break?
You cannot help others if you are not taking care of your personal needs. For some, daily doses of selfcare may be enough. 30 minutes a day of ‘me time’ may keep you from lashing out at your loved ones.
‘Me time’ may not be enough. Then what?
The good news is that there is even more money being funneled to community programming and treatment centers to help counteract these issues. You may have lost your insurance and feel like you don’t have any options. Traditional practices have adopted telehealth visits and this makes care available in every state.
If you don’t know where to start or who to call, click on the link below. I am sharing the National Hotline Number 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for you to store or use. They can assist you with finding a location near you or can direct you to an agency who can assist regardless of your ability to pay.
I have a special request or call to action for you today.
Pick up your phone and text/call/FaceTime/Whatspp/Skype someone who lives alone or is an elderly friend or parent. Your voice may be the only one they hear today.
Let’s work together to break the cycle.