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When Dr. Ken Duckworth learned that a reporter interviewing him was from Alabama, the first thing he thought of was college football. “The absence of college football is not a mental health problem, but it takes away one of my favorite things in life,” said Duckworth, CMO of NAMI. For many, the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting people through the loss of favorite rituals and events, and for young people, the loss of opportunity. “First of all, take care of your own self. Not everybody needs a therapist,” Duckworth said. Get exercise, don’t use substances to excess, and put down all media after dinner, he said. “We are all in this together.”
The United Nations is urging leaders to address mental health as it says the pandemic is adding to psychological distress. This comes after a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found more than 4 in 10 Americans say stress from the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Ken Duckworth, who serves as the chief medical officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and isolation, our mental health is more fragile than ever. For Mental Health Awareness Month, "GMA" is sharing resources, tips and ways to protect your mental health. The article includes multiple NAMI Instagram graphics.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation efforts in March, Americans have reported negative mental health outcomes. Whether it’s because they’ve lost a job or are in fear of losing one, they’re struggling to piece together money to pay bills. They’re worried about their health and safety. In this episode, we unpack mental health and discuss how you can manage your mental and emotional wellbeing during this time. Ken Duckworth, M.D., CMO of NAMI will share strategies you can use to look after yourself during COVID 19 and beyond.
Nationwide, mental health call and text centers offer an early picture of how Americans are coping with the coronavirus pandemic. The roughly 11.2 million Americans who live with serious mental illness, including many who are homeless or in prisons, are the most vulnerable to the psychological effects of the pandemic, said Dawn Brown, who runs the HelpLine for NAMI. But even people who have never experienced a mental disorder are feeling many of the same symptoms. When you call the NAMI HelpLine, counselors first listen to your story and validate what you’re going through. Then they recommend resources to help you manage your symptoms.
May is mental health awareness month, and never before has the topic of mental health been more relevant. Experts are reporting increasing rates of mental health problems and predict this is only the beginning of a lasting mental health crisis. "HelpLine callers mentioning COVID-19 are most frequently experiencing serious anxiety about their physical and emotional health," Dawn Brown, director of community engagement at NAMI, said. Lynne Gots, a licensed psychologist, outlined ways people can protect their mental health during the pandemic in a NAMI blog.
The isolation, grief and economic hardship related to Covid-19 are creating a mental health crisis in the U.S. that researchers warn could make the already-rising suicide rate worse. A new study released Friday found that over the next decade as many as 75,000 additional people could die from “deaths of despair” as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a term that refers to suicides and substance-abuse-related deaths. “It’s useful to have a wake-up call,” said Ken Duckworth, CMO at NAMI. “Unemployment is going to have a very important impact on deaths of despair.”
In immigrant communities, fear and uncertainty over money, health and the future existed long before the coronavirus pandemic. Now those anxieties are getting worse. “Many members of our community are the ones keeping the stores stocked with all the groceries,” said Monica Villalta, the director of inclusion and diversity officer at NAMI. “We...see that the neglect of providing culturally competent...services has resulted in increased rates of mortality for African Americans and Latinx people.” Despite these challenges, there are resources that can help, such as NAMI's Spanish-language guide, “COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Informacion Y Recursos.”
Bebe Rexha hasn't been one to shy away from sharing her mental health struggles. The Grammy nominee first told the world that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2019. Recently, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the singer partnered with Ken Duckworth, M.D., a psychiatrist and CMO of NAMI, to share tips on how people can keep their emotional well-being in check while navigating the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two kicked off the conversation in an Instagram Live video by talking about anxiety.
ABC News’ Maggie Rulli on why taking care of your brain and body by finding your own therapy, including dance, is so important during times of stress and isolation. Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, discusses the importance of prioritizing your mental health during the pandemic and the importance of social connectedness. There is no health without mental health.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741