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The Invisible Crisis: The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health


Last updated 1/19/2021 at 10:14am

Mental health is one of the biggest pandemic problems to be faced in 2021. With the progress in vaccines, it may be possible to better manage the physical impacts and dangers of COVID-19. However, between a sigh of relief based on widespread vaccinations, assuming that occurs sooner than next spring, experts warn the crisis of mental health will last longer and be harder to overcome.

According to Lisa Carlson, the immediate past president of the American Public Health Association, “The physical aspects of the pandemic are really visible.”

Improvements in treatment are advancing along with the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, the impact on the collective psyche is not so visible, but equally dangerous and contagious. “We have supply shortages and economic stress, fear of illness, and all of our disrupted routines,” she explained, referring to the stressors, adding to life that was already stressful before the pandemic.

Then there’s isolation and loneliness that has hit people of all ages. Based on the mental struggles endured by so many last year, mental health issues are on the rise. How are people coping in Borrego Springs? With the clinic in financial limbo, where can Borregans find help? The Borrego Community Health Foundation, which had let go many of its employed mental health providers prior to the pandemic, contracts with Broadwell Health, a private services agency, located in El Cajon, for mental health referrals. So, how’s that going?

What are the leading stressors? How are people coping on their own? What advice do the medical professionals have? And the biggest question of all: where do those who are suffering from a mental health crisis find the real help they need?

The Borrego Sun will be covering the issue of mental health in Borrego in the Jan. 21 edition.