The mental health crisis in the US is becoming more visible each day of 2020. The pandemic isn’t just impacting physical health. RTT has released a study to gain an insight into just how the public is coping mentally during this time, the full results of which can be seen here: rtt.com/coping-with-covid-19. With mental health services not being able to provide their services as normal, we take a further look into the study to see how people are coping.
The Mental Health Impact of Covid 19
Reports of diminishing mental health are being reported in every state in the USA this year, while these symptoms and issues are no new thing, the number is incredibly high compared to a ‘normal’ year.
Sleep disruption, time disorientation, loneliness, depressions, anxiety and even PTSD are just some of the increasing symptoms the pandemic has brought to the nation.
Searches online for mental health concerns and how to help those dealing with them are rising. From seeking online therapy to researching about becoming a therapist, RTT’s study reveals more.
Online Therapy and Digital Alternatives
As the virus spread and WHO announced a worldwide pandemic, online searches for mental health rose. The term ‘online therapy’ increased by 96% in March of this year, compared to January 2020.
While this could be put down to regular therapy sessions being halted due to social distancing guidelines and state-wide lockdowns, interest continued to increase compared to 2019, reflecting increasing mental health disorders.
While online therapy has now become more popular and for some people the norm, there were other methods the public were looking to find ways to cope.
Mental health apps are no new invention, they are certainly a new commodity to many. Headspace, Calm and Better Help are some of the most popular of these apps and searches for these have risen by almost 100% within the last year.
Celebrity endorsements on social media have helped to raise awareness for these and the public is utilising them to try and get through their struggles during this time.
Why Mental Health Is Being Impacted On Such A Large Scale
The uncertainty of the pandemic has hit the nation hard. Large numbers of people have faced job losses and reduced revenue. Financial difficulties and suicide rates have a direct link and there has been no larger negative impact than that on the wealth of the public.
Even those who have continued to work during the pandemic are not safe from these troubles. Job security is at an all-time low due to the uncertainty of what the future holds for every industry and the thought if this is prevalent in the minds of many.
However, there are other reasons for mental health issues in 2020. Loneliness and social isolation are larger than ever and we are prevented from seeing loved ones. Even the removal of working in the office for the safer alternative of working from home is having an impact.
Despite individuals living with partners, children or friends, interacting with colleagues is an essential part of human life and this being removed is contributing to the deterioration of mental health.
There are even mental health concerns for those who are able to have social interaction in some form or another. The worry of vulnerable loved ones being isolated, lonely and of course, the threat of the virus itself is causing high numbers of anxiety.
Looking After Those Who Are Struggling
It isn’t just those with mental health struggles who are turning to the internet for help. Search terms for ‘how to become a therapist’ have increased tenfold. This could be due to a number of factors.
Firstly, with many looking for a career change, whether this is from job loss or simply having the time to reflect on their current roles, the need for therapy is increasing and seems to be one of the few sectors that have benefitted from the pandemic.
While becoming a therapist can take many years, it appears that there will always be a need for these professionals, creating better job security. With a focus in the media and within communities to help one another, more so than ever, a rewarding career such as this seems tempting to many.
Another reason for these searches could be to help loved ones that are having issues. While only a trained professional can really get to the bottom of mental health issues, there are some things we can do to help those we loved who are having a hard time.
However, knowing the right things to do and day can be tough and getting this wrong can cause more problems. Searching terms such as ‘how to be a therapist’ can provide a wealth of knowledge and online resources that can provide an insight into methods to use until professional help can be sought. Those looking for how to become a psychotherapist can often find access to free and paid resources that can bring short-term solutions.
The most important thing to remember during this time is that the sooner these mental health issues are dealt with, the greater chance they can be reduced sooner. Mental health apps can provide some form of help but should never be considered a long-term solution to the problem and should be considered a supplement to professional help.
If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health issues, reach out to your local services and find out what kind of help is available during this time, it may surprise you just how much aid can be provided, even during a pandemic.