Mental Stress, Hand in Hand With COVID-19


August 31st, 2020

OMAHA – Chest pain, palpitations, random pains, and headaches are some physical symptoms related to anxiety.

“I think we are definitely in terms of the fear of the unknown, what is to come. Specially now back to school   we have so many parents and children are in different routines, remote learning.” 

Chelsea Hunter licensed independent mental health practitioner, and a licensed clinical social worker, works for CHI clinics and she had seen a substantial increase of patients seeking mental support.

CHI clinics in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area are seeing about 10,000 people each month since COVID-19 struck in March.

For Hunter, it is important that patients are aware of the physical health problems rising from anxiety and ambiguity.

“Patients having a lot of anxiety the is something that as a provider I might be able just to jump right in to as well and continue that conversation about mental health and what not, we have the ability to be more flexible and meet patients’ needs.”

CHI Clinic. Photo by Gabriel
Escalera, KVNO

For Janeen Gass Physician Assistance for CHI clinics, being proactive is the most important element when someone feels something abnormal in mental health.

It is the first step to identify a mental disorder.

“My first and foremost is if you have questions about it, to make an appointment with you primary care because this is where it starts and we want to address not only you physical well been but mental (health), it is a very important part.”

For Hunter, patient acceptance of “it is ok, not to be ok” is playing an important role in early detection of mental problems.

The CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on its website, the most common causes and fears of this pandemic.

Among others, there is a concern for the health of oneself and loved ones, financial worries and the increase in using cigarettes, alcohol and other substances.

Also, social distance can translate to isolation and loneliness most times according to the CDC.

The CHI clinics have been integrating more the service for mental problems to make it more accessible for patients, during this pandemic.

Hunter and Gass both recommend doing physical activity and picking up a habit is beneficial is this time. Tele-consultations are making it more practical to serve more patients with mental problems generated by COVID-19 at the polls amid the pandemic.

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