As millions of us have been dealing with a variety of stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainty of when life could ever return back to some kind of normal has crippled the mental health of many. Couple that with the continuous fear of getting sick or losing a loved one to the virus, mental health has quickly sprung from a serious concern to a potential global crisis.
In a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, 36% of respondents stated that COVID-19 was seriously impacting their mental health. And a report by Express Scripts found that there was a 34% increase in anti-anxiety medication prescriptions between Mid-February through Mid-March. The numbers are alarming, but various groups have been using tech to try and help prevent them from getting any worse. While these aren’t the sole solution for addressing a crisis, they do provide a step in helping those in need:
In an attempt to help ease some of the anxiety around these uncertain times, The National Center of PTSD created an app called Covid Coach. It’s a digital tool that provides smartphone users with different ways to manage their stress. From breathing exercises to guidance on tackling loneliness, the app is packed with resources for people in need of support.
Crisis Text Line
With a 40% increase in the volume of conversations since the start of the pandemic, Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential messaging service, has been supporting US residents in need with the help of trained crisis counselors. Using a simple six-digit code, users can leverage their preferred SMS app to get dedicated support on a variety of situations from concerns about isolation to fears of domestic violence or abuse.
As a number of mental health issues continue to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic, WebMD Health Services is integrating these concerns into their weekly podcasts. Leveraging timely, evidence-based insights, the podcasts will provide subscribed employers with support on understanding and addressing their employees’ mental and emotional well-being.