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Hey guys. Pedro Sam with Thriveworks Fort Lauderdale. I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and I come to you today to just talk to you for a few minutes. As you know, our world is going through so many difficult situations right now.

We are going through the Coronavirus pandemic, right? It’s affecting the way we interact with others, affecting our daily routines. It’s affecting the way we conduct business. It’s affecting every aspect that we can possibly think of. It’s affected everybody in one shape or another.

So one of the questions that came through our website is basically, “How can I take care of friends and family members who are struggling with mental illness during the Coronavirus pandemic?” So, the first thing that I would like to say is to remind ourselves that a pandemic or crisis like this will lead to different emotions, uncomfortable emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, fear confusion, right?

So we need to get that information that we know already and if not, we need to educate ourselves on, on those types of emotions and what they do. And then we need to provide support to our family members and our friends, right? Acknowledge them for the emotions they’re feeling, tell them then those emotions that they’re feeling are normal. Those emotions that they’re feeling are supposed to be experienced at this moment.

A lot of times people, what they do is that they feel those emotions and they feel that they’re not supposed to be feeling those emotions. So what do they do? They hide those emotions, right? They repress them. They, they keep them inside. And that only hurts us at the end because then we are not living reality at that moment. And that can come out in so many bad ways in the long run.

So the first thing we need to know is acknowledge people want to be heard during this time. People want to be supported during this time. So acknowledging people that what they’re feeling is normal, but also be that person who’s positive, right? So this is where sometimes it’s hard for us if we’re negative. But we have to try our best to be a positive person during this time and provide support for that person.

I acknowledge them in telling them that things are going to be okay. The second thing I recommend is remind them the situation is temporary. That situation is not permanent. That just like it started, it’s going to end. We see it in China. This is where the epidemic started, right? The pandemic started, it started in China and now we’re seeing declines in everything.

We’re seeing that people are recovering, businesses are opening up, things are going back to normal there. So the same will happen to the United States. We need to basically listen to our medical professionals and we need to follow guidelines. So that’s just social distancing, all those kinds of things.

So remind our family members and our friends who are struggling that they need to continue to remember the situation is not, it’s not permanent. It’s temporary. The third thing I would recommend is that we remind our friends and fellow members that they need to continue their daily routines every day.

Right? So that is getting up on time. That is eating meals exercising, whatever they do on a regular basis before the pandemic to do those things as much as possible. Keep a sense of normalcy because the more that we maintain a sense of normalcy, the better we’re going to cope with a world that’s not normal, a world that’s out of sync. It feels like that, right? Because everything’s close and we’re going through so many changes and difficult problems.

So the biggest thing that I can say is to remind them to maintain a normal schedule as much as possible, right? Taking care of you, taking care of yourself. It’s really, really important because a healthy mind, healthy body is going to help you to deal with the Coronavirus.

And last but not least is social media, right? This is the perfect time to connect with people. This is a time where we can connect with people through technology, right? Through social media, through Facebook, whether it be zoom, video, chat, right? It can be things like FaceTime anything like that. So this is a time where we connect with people and take that opportunity to be closer to family members, through the media, through social media, through the internet. The best time to do that.

People are struggling and they don’t know what to do at this moment. But we can be the positive force that changes everything. And I encourage you, and I encourage you to, to be able to provide the support that your family and your friends need during this time. And don’t, don’t be afraid to reach out to for professional help if you need that. So thank you again for your time and we will all get through this. Have a great day.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is Senior Writer and Editor at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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