Mental Health & COVID-19
A Message from the Weston COVID-19 Response Manager
March 11, 2022
Two years ago, on March 11, 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. This has been an unprecedented time and has been marked by loss, grief, or illness, in some way, for everyone. Many of us have had unexpected moments of joy, kindness, relief, humor, and love as well. Our collective resilience has been humbling to witness, and our collective trauma is real. At least 6 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, and models suggest over half the world’s population has had COVID-19 at least once. Fortunately, about half the globe has already received at least one vaccination against infection, and we know being up to date with vaccines remains the best protection from severe illness and death from COVID-19. We continue to learn from research which will inform future best practices in our public health response.
While we celebrate falling case rates and begin to the explore current-state in our own lives, it is important to mark this anniversary and consider ways to move forward with (not away from) the experiences of the pandemic that are still real and recent. Trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive events, affects everyone differently. Research into trauma-informed care tells us that among the first steps in approaching recovery is realizing the widespread impact of trauma and understanding potential routes for healing. I urge you to take time to be deliberate in considering and processing these difficult years. The mental health strain of COVID-living has been substantial. There are lots of resources available to ease your path when you are ready to take on this work.
We know that our collective pandemic anxiety has been fueled, in part, by the unknown. The unknown of another variant, the effects on our day-to-day lives, and how we will handle it all. It is important to note that many of us are at different places with our COVID-19 experiences. Losses we have felt may have been related to job, money, food security, career plans and dreams, the death of a loved one, the stress of ushering family members through remote school and work, or fear for our health or the inability to gather safely as a family. Hundreds of thousands of people who have had COVID-19 worldwide report the after-effects of a COVID-19 infection last for weeks to months and are experiencing Long COVID. Grief, anger, exhaustion, frustration, sadness: All of these are normal emotions that can feel overwhelming. It is OK to not feel ok even as your world "opens up", and there are lots of great resources available to help. Please call your doctor to initiate help for your mental and physical health. If you have a loved one who is an immediate safety risk to themselves or others, please call 911.
The Board of Health will continue to support the mental and physical health of Weston, and as a small part of this we will be gathering resources (in addition to the list below) on our website http://www.WestonMA.gov/health that may be helpful for you and your family.
lease send suggestions for consideration to COVIDquestions@WestonMA.gov and don't hesitate to reach out to me if I can assist you. Thank you for continuing to care for yourselves, your loved ones and your community.
With wishes for wellness,
Michele Fronk Schuckel, MBA, BSN, RN
COVID-19 Response Manager, Town of Weston Board of Health
- In an emergency that requires immediate attention call 911
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or 988 on a mobile phone is available 24 hours a day and has interpreters in over 150 languages
- Riverside Community Care: 800-529-5077, mental health and substance use evaluations to people in crisis, available 24 hours a day. Instead of going to the emergency room, services can be provided to you over the phone, in your home, at school, or in another community setting
- Find a therapist via Psychology Today or Inclusive Therapists
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: Resources for individuals and family for those with mental illness
- Human Relations Service: 781-235-4950 Private, non-profit mental health agency serving families and children in Wellesley, Weston, and Wayland
- The American Medical Association: Information on and resources for those with Long COVID