By Morgan Taylor, Reporter
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rise in awareness for physical health. Being physically healthy is one the best ways to prevent sicknesses and stop the spread of disease. Many essential stores, businesses, and offices are still open and are taking preventative measures through continuous sanitation.
With all the focus on physical health, there has been a decline in awareness for mental health. Leslie Crow, Mental Health Family Specialist at Wewoka Indian Health Center, says now is crucial time to pay attention to your mental health and be aware of symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“Anxiety is a big problem right now. The fear of getting sick, fear of unemployment, not knowing what information is reliable, are all things that can lead to anxiety,” said Crow. “Individuals may experience loneliness and begin to isolate themselves and this can lead to depression.”
Crow says that individuals should limit exposure to the news. Too much negative news can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“Maintaining a schedule, getting sleep, limiting exposure to electronics, healthy dieting, physical activity, maintaining contact with loved ones, get educated on the available resources in the area, plan ahead, and to be aware of symptoms of mental illness are some of the most important ways to promote mental health,” said Crow. “Focus on hobbies that spark joy and make time to do that each day.”
“Remember, it’s okay to go outside and do physical activity with your household,” she said. “Physical activity is essential in stress management and in preventing symptoms.”
Online resources are expanding during this time. Many have resorted to online whether it be to search information or put out information. There are many websites, social media profiles, and even hotlines to text that will provide education and resources in the area.
“Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health Services understands there is going to be negative emotional effects on adults and children during this time,” said Director of Behavioral Health Services for Muscogee (Creek) Nation Kyle Sprangle. “To help address some of the behavioral health needs we have started a crisis line for citizens who need to talk or are in crisis. They can call any of the clinic offices and speak to one of our clinicians immediately during regular business hours.”
- Okmulgee 918-758-1910
- Sapulpa 918-224-9185
- Koweta 918-879-3471
- Okemah 918-623-3010
- Eufaula 918-618-2168
After hours call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number 1-800-273-8255 or text “Creek” to 741-741.