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Mental Health Awareness Month: Study looks at pandemic’s impact on mental well-being

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 9:00 AM MST|Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 8:57 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - About 50 percent of people are feeling more optimistic after a challenging 2020, according to a recent study by Healthline.

“This is a tough time and there might be days that have a lot of joy in them in our near future and there might be hard days as well,” said Laurie Dewan, the vice president of Consumer Insights at Healthline.

She said the pandemic has had an enormous impact on mental health due to people losing loves ones, job losses, lifestyle changes and isolation. More than a year later, Healthline has found some people are starting to have a more positive outlook for the future.

“Some of this is in relation to recent events, such as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, such as the United States joining the Paris Climate Accord,” she said.

Post-pandemic anxiety is still strong. Researchers found one out of five people say they’ve lost optimism with loneliness being the most influential long-term impact of the pandemic.

“If you’re feeling hope now that’s wonderful. Carry that good feeling out and use it to help others. If you’re feeling pain, frustration, disillusionment, that’s also okay. That’s part of the journey as well,” Dewan said.

She said a simple conversation with family or friends can make all the difference.

“I think more than ever it’s important for us to understand that we do need each other,” she said. “That’s probably the number one lesson that we could have learned from this past year.”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Arizona Department of Health is launching a campaign specifically on maternal mental health. Southern Arizona has several organizations with services and mental health resources. NAMI has same-day crisis phone help, local support groups, mental health advocates to talk to and educational programs. 2-1-1 Arizona can connect people with a variety of support groups that include anger management, counseling for families, youth, grief and suicide prevention programs.

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