A pandemic threatens the physical health and lives of many in society, yet is also affects the mental health of individuals and families. This is particularly problematic as the duration of a pandemic lengthens. Adam Gonzalez, PhD, Director of Behavioral Health and Founding Director of the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, says Covid-19 has created great uncertainty in many areas of life, which has led some individuals to feel helpless and hopeless about their current experiences and their future. These experiences and feelings can be linked to suicide ideation.
Given the timeframe of the pandemic and in connection with National Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Gonzalez can speak to this issue and detail his main points:
- There are ways to combat this helpless or hopeless feeling during the pandemic and its aftermath, including:
- Right now is an ideal time to embrace this period and to find joy even in the moments of despair and seek silver linings with most circumstances amidst the seemingly dark unknown.
- This is a time to reach out to others and to connect socially (using distancing standards) – even if a simple hello or a check-in to see how someone is doing.
- This is also a great time to re-visit our values and assess what’s important in your life and why? And what can one do to live in accordance with one’s values – even during these challenging times.