Mental Health Awareness Month: how to cope during a pandemic


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and health officials are encouraging people to keep up with their mental health during this pandemic.

Stress relievers like getting a workout in at the gym or taking a stroll around a mall, might just seem like a memory now and has left people to find a new way to cope. Administrative director of Behavioral Health Services at Sparrow Hospital, Timothy Davis, says what’s causing a lot of stress during this pandemic, is the fear of the unknown.

“It’s very disruptive and frankly I think people are struggling with what the next thing is for them and when things will begin to feel normal again,” said Davis.

With a world that’s used to a fast pace environment, Davis says a change, can actually be good for mental health.

“In a weird way, this is an opportunity for us to reconnect with ourselves and those that we love because we are being forced to take a breathe and to take a step back,” he added.

Not being able to see family or being laid-off, has caused a lot of mental strain for many people across Michigan and the country. Davis says there is a lot of pride and satisfaction that comes with having a job.

“It’s not just about losing a job and losing revenue, it’s about a person’s self-esteem and how they feel about what’s going on that I think we also have to be very mindful of,” Davis said.

He says there are ways to cope, it’s just finding what’s right for you.

“Find something that you do like, maybe it’s carving on wood, like whittling… or maybe it’s going fishing, now that’s opened back up, you can do that in a solitary way, it’s quiet, you can think,” said Davis.

Davis says the most important thing to remember is to have hope and that this will all pass.

“Everybody matters, every task, everything everyone does, makes this world work the way we like it, so don’t give up on that,” said Davis.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also introduced mental health resources for people to use during this pandemic.

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