The coronavirus outbreak is not only affecting people physically, but mentally as well.
The stress surrounding the pandemic — from lost jobs to stay-at-home orders — can affect everyone’s mental health, especially those with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and fears of germs and people.
Big events like Easter celebrations, vacations, parties and weddings being canceled also causes stress, both financially and emotionally.
And while the common reaction is to turn to others for comfort, stay-at-home orders make that difficult.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. Every year, many more people think about or attempt suicide than die by suicide.
In 2017, 10.6 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan and 1.4 million attempted suicide.
Those numbers may rise during this pandemic.
To rework a post making the rounds on social media, if you’re at the store and see someone buying things you don’t see as “essential” stop and think a minute.
Maybe that gallon of paint helps that man keep his idle hands busy so that he doesn’t relapse with alcoholism.
Maybe those bags of soil and seeds are to help that woman battling depression outside working in the sunshine, planting something beautiful to grow during this time of darkness.
Maybe those children playing outside and running up and down the street are escaping a home of abuse, whether it be emotional or physical. Being at school was their respite so now being outside is their escape.
Remember that it’s impossible to know what another person is going through without walking a mile in their shoes. Just looking doesn’t give you a full picture of their life.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.
Texas Health and Human Services has also established a COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, call the toll-free line at 833-986-1919.