Mental health is an “epidemic” in communities of color


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Written by Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

Fri, February 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Communities of color are facing a growing wave of Psychological health As a result of how COVID-19 is spreading pandemic Experts have changed the way people react and grieve, experts warn.

“We are on the verge of having a mental health epidemic due to COVID,” said Vicky Mays, a professor of health policy and director of the UCLA Center for Research, Education, Training and Strategic Communication on the health disparities of minorities. HDLive! Interview.

Mays said Mood disordersCases of drug abuse and suicides are increasing in racial and ethnic communities in the United States, driven in part by society isolation Required to prevent spread Corona Virus.

“Think about what it means to be black or Latino, losing someone in your family, and you can’t afford to celebrate coming home for them. It’s so painful and Sadnes Miss said. “To know that your mother did everything in her power, and you have to do these things online, as her friends cannot be with her and comfort her children. This is leaving some deep grief and wounds in the people that we need to treat soon.”

Tasha Clark Amar, CEO of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, said in the same interview that Louisiana families can no longer meet after a funeral to connect at the dinner “where they meet and say goodbye.”

“It was cut down and that was harmful to society for sure,” said Clark Ammar.

Alison Navis said urban societies are particularly vulnerable to a resurgence of mood swings and drug use, given that they have experienced some of the worst waves of COVID-19 cases in the country. She is a mental health professional and director of the Neurology Clinic at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“A lot of our patients were sick in March or April, even if they had a milder infection, it was a very scary time here in town,” Navis said. “Maybe they were alone in their apartments and hospitals were overcrowded and hearing ambulances outside and so a lot of patients were really understandably afraid about whether they would survive this. It totally affected them and caused depression, anxiety or PTSD.”

She continued

Separation distress, dysfunctional grief, and post-traumatic stress also interfere with the daily lives of many Americans who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus, according to a study recently published in Pain and Symptom Management.

Study author Lauren Breen, an assistant professor at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, said, “Current research shows that grief caused by deaths during the epidemic was more intense than grief after deaths before the epidemic and deaths from other natural causes.” University press release.

“The worsening of grief is due to the necessary restrictions affecting people’s access to their dying loved ones, limiting their participation in important rituals such as funerals, and reducing the material social support they may receive from friends and family,” Breen said.

Breen said people who are experiencing grief need to have better support even before their friends and relatives die, while patients undergo palliative care. The United States in particular needs more grief counselors to help people cope with their loss.

Mays expects it will be up to social organizations in various societies to provide the bulk of the help people will need as a result of the pandemic.

“It reminds me of when I was working in New Orleans [Hurricane] Mays said: Katrina. “It will be community agencies that will have to get involved in community rituals and processes as they put in place support mechanisms for people to check-in.”

In one example, organizers in Austin, Texas, have asked an artist to create a community mural to commemorate those who have died of COVID, said Jill Ramirez, executive director of the Latin Healthcare Forum in Austin.

“At that time, we had nearly 300 people who had passed away. We put the number on the board, the number of people who died, and we called the community to attend a protest,” Ramirez said.

“I think we need to do more of these things so we can really help people with grief,” Ramirez said. “At the moment, I think people are just trying to take care of themselves as best they can.”

She continued

more information

There’s more on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dealing with grief and loss during a pandemic.

Sources: Tasha Clark Ammar, Executive Director, East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, Louisiana; Jill Ramirez, Executive Director, Latino Healthcare Forum, Austin, TX; Vicky Mays, Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy, and Director of the University of California Los Angeles Center for Research, Education, Training, and Strategic Communication on Minority Health Disparities, Los Angeles; Alison Navis, MD, director of the Neurology Clinic, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Curtin University, press release, February 25, 2021

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