Expert Pitch
Tulane University

Expert says mental health challenges remain as lockdown lifts

28-May-2020 1:05 PM EDT, by Tulane University

Tonya Hansel, DSW program director at the Tulane University School of Social Work, is an expert in disaster mental health and trauma.

As communities around the world begin lifting public health precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Hansel says mental health challenges will likely remain.

Hansel and other experts from the Tulane School of Social Work are drawing on research following previous disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, to illuminate what pandemic recovery might look like.

“This is technically a biological disaster, and we know disasters affect people’s mental health,” Hansel said. “Our bodies are amazing at handling stress, but when it compounds over a long time, it can be too much.”

Some people may be depressed over ongoing financial problems. Others, particularly those with underlying health conditions, may be fearful of going out and concerned that so many people are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Parents may be worried about the upcoming school year, and with many camps closed, anxious over having children in the house all summer.  Those in coastal communities have the added burden of preparing for hurricane season, which begins June 1.

Hansel describes the stress like boiling water in a pot. If the heat isn’t reduced, the water can boil over.

“Too much stress can result in both physical and mental health problems,” she said. “An important thing to watch for is a lack of interest or ability to do ‘normal’ things or finding little to no joy in things that you used to do.”

She recommended focusing on things that are controllable, including the following:

  • Continue to practice social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Reduce exposure to news coverage.
  • Consider holding a small outdoor dinner party or bunch or meet up with friends at a park.
  • Continue to support friends who may be fearful of going out. Offer to do their shopping or errands, check in with them by phone or internet and try to include them remotely when possible.
  • Continue to support front-line workers by providing meals to them or sending cards or emails to let them know you’re thinking of them.

As communities experience additional phases of recovery, people will go through corresponding emotional phases, Hansel said. “This disaster is tricky. The phases are not as clear; however, it is likely to follow typical patterns of disaster response. Given the staggering loss of life and prolonged grieving, it may take longer than a year to reach our new normal.”

The Tulane School of Social Work has developed a self-care website which features guided meditation videos, online yoga videos, tips for indulging yourself and mental health hotlines.

 




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4206
Newswise: Proteolytic Enzymes for Covid-19 Studied in 3D for the First Time in Thailand by Chula Biochemists
Released: 4-Dec-2020 8:45 AM EST
Proteolytic Enzymes for Covid-19 Studied in 3D for the First Time in Thailand by Chula Biochemists
Chulalongkorn University

A team of biochemists from Chulalongkorn University became the first researchers in Thailand to study proteolytic enzymes for the Covid–19 virus at a molecular level in 3D, possibly leading to the development of Covid–19 treatments.

Newswise: UC San Diego Bolsters Aggressive Return to Learn Plan to Prevent Outbreaks on Campus
Released: 4-Dec-2020 8:35 AM EST
UC San Diego Bolsters Aggressive Return to Learn Plan to Prevent Outbreaks on Campus
University of California San Diego

UC San Diego’s nationally recognized, evidence-based Return to Learn program employs a comprehensive suite of education, monitoring, testing, intervention and notification tools that no other university is using. And the program continues to expand—including a recent introduction of weekly self-administered student testing kits, growth of the campus’s wastewater viral monitoring program and widespread use of the cellphone-based CA COVID Notify exposure notification system.

Newswise: Pediatric ER Saw Steep Drop in Asthma Visits During Spring COVID-19 Lockdown
1-Dec-2020 8:00 AM EST
Pediatric ER Saw Steep Drop in Asthma Visits During Spring COVID-19 Lockdown
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

A new study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society discusses a steep drop off from prior years in asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits at Boston Children’s Hospital during the spring 2020 COVID-19 surge and lockdown.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 4:50 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 3:50 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: 250384_web.jpg
Released: 3-Dec-2020 3:05 PM EST
Study finds COVID-19 hindering US academic productivity of faculty with young children
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The academic productivity of higher education faculty In the United States in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields with very young children suffered as a result of the stay-at-home orders during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:50 PM EST
Kidney disease leading risk factor for COVID-related hospitalization
Geisinger Health System

An analysis of Geisinger's electronic health records has revealed chronic kidney disease to be the leading risk factor for hospitalization from COVID-19.

Newswise: Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:25 PM EST
Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

S&T's Biometric Technology Rally focused on the ability of acquisition systems and matching algorithms to recognize travelers without asking them to remove their masks, thereby reducing risk for frontline workers.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 10-Dec-2020 11:00 AM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 2:20 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 10-Dec-2020 11:00 AM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.


Showing results

110 of 4206

close
2.1047