Apr 19th, 2020, 06:35 PM

Mental Health in Quarantine: You're Not Alone.

By Caitlin Kelly
Image credit: Natalia Ovcharenko / Pixabay
If you feel a decrease in your mental health during quarantine, you're not alone.

After the recent lockdown that began in March of 2020,  countries like France, the UK, America, Mexico, and more have been seeing an increase in cases of depression and anxiety. For those who have existing mental health issues, a sense of routine and the opportunity to find distraction in going outside and participating in activities keep their mental health stable. For others, constant distressing news on the virus can contribute to anxiety about the future. 

It is important to not only take care of our physical health in times of crisis but also our mental health. Many people throughout the world are experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression in the face of this global crisis, which are normal responses. However, the common denominator between these people may be that they feel that these emotional responses are things that they must accept and cannot change.

This is not true. There are many resources available to help manage mental health during this crisis, resources that are affordable to AUP students, some even being free of charge. 

The Never Give Up Wellness Center is a center with a hotline you can call to receive consolation if you are feeling depressed or anxious in the face of this pandemic. The number is (702) 951-9751. They are also hosting a public zoom support group every Wednesday at 10am PST, and they are located in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can find out how to attend these at nevergiveupbhs.com.

Mental health is important. Image credit: Natasha Spenser / Pixabay

Domestic abuse and dangerous living situations are also on the rise during this quarantine. With the inability to go outside and limit time spent with an abusive partner, violence breeds as a result. According to the New York Times, French police reported a nationwide spike in cases of domestic abuse since the quarantine began. It has increased by 30%

For those trapped in dangerous living situations in America, there is help available. The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. They also have resources on how to recognize domestic abuse during this quarantine. Domestic abuse may present itself in a specific way not previously recognized outside of the quarantine.

For example, abusive partners may withhold products necessary to remain healthy during the quarantine from the victim, such as hand sanitizer and masks. They may also use this pandemic as a way of controlling their partners by instilling fear in them. They may share misinformation about the pandemic for this reason. With such close quarters, tensions may rise among abusive relationships, leading to the start or increase in physical violence. 

If you are dealing with a decrease in mental health or are enduring abuse from a partner, it is important to note that there are many resources available free of charge. As students, we may not have much money, or we may not want our parents to have knowledge of every facet of our life. It is important to reach out to family, however, if they are contributing to your decrease in mental health, or if you simply want to not share this with them, it is vital for your safety to not endure these things alone. 

One last resource, aside from what I will put at the end of this article, is Rachel Wright. Rachel Wright is a therapist located in New York City who is holding free virtual group therapy sessions during the pandemic. You can sign up to attend by following this link.

This pandemic is a traumatizing experience. We will all look back on as trauma instilling. It’s okay to reach out for help. 

Here is a list of American resources: 

1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) - National Hopeline Network

1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4.U.TREVOR aimed at LGBT youth) 

Child Abuse Hotline -- 800-4-A-CHILD (800 422 4453)

National Domestic Violence Hotline -- 800-799-7233

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) HelpLine -- 1-800-931-2237 or text NEDA to 741741

French options: 

01 45 39 40 00 (French suicide prevention line)

01 46 21 46 46 (English-speaking suicide prevention line in France)