submitted by Carole Trone
Fellow Rotarian Lynn Brady, who is President and CEO of Journey Mental Health Center, shared her insights on “Dealing with Mental Health in the Time of the Coronavirus, a Unique National Emergency!” Brady’s presentation to the club through a virtual meeting platform on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, was an immediate reminder of the significant disruption that all of us are facing in our daily routines. Brady reflected that we are social creatures, and so this required isolation is inevitably going to have an impact. We feel uncertainty about when things will return to normal. In Brady’s work, she says that they are not currently seeing a lot of calls. Rather, people are asking for tips on dealing with stress; how to talk to children about the issue; and how they might reach out in the future to a mental health professional. The mental health professionals that she works with also need a chance to talk through the issues.
Brady walked her audience through the stages of mental stress that the coronavirus has brought, from disruption and worry at a personal level to an increased level of community anxiety about jobs and access to necessities. People at different ages will exhibit signs of stress differently and it’s especially important not to dismiss the distress that older people feel as a normal aspect of aging. Brady provided ideas for how we, as leaders in our community and at work, can provide structure and support to our colleagues and those we supervise. Routines and ongoing opportunities to discuss challenges and to stay in touch are supportive for everyone. Think about the immediate and also the longer term plans of dealing with this crisis. Be sure to thank people who are in the mental health field.
In closing, Brady reminded her audience that Journey Mental Health Center has a crisis line: 608-280-2600, and it is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year.
If you missed our online meeting this week, you can watch the video here.