COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

Worries and anxiety about COVID-19 and its impact can be overwhelming. For many people, social distancing can make it even more challenging. Learning ways to cope during the pandemic and knowing when to seek help, ensures your mental health needs will be met.

The COVID-19 pandemic has most likely disrupted how you live your daily life. Changes in routines, uncertainty, financial pressures, and social isolation can all lead to a mental health crisis. Information overload, misinformation, and rumors can lead to overwhelming anxiety and feeling like your life is out of your control.

Chicago Behavioral Hospital understands this can be a stressful time. Here are some self-care strategies you can try:

  • Get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. Keep close to your regular schedule, even if you’re staying home.
  • Physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise, while following CDC guidelines, can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid junk food and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself to meditate, read, or work on a hobby.

If your feelings of anxiety and uncertainty prevent you from accomplishing everyday tasks, it may be time to get help. Chicago Behavioral Hospital has the tools and knowledge you need to feel in control. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment for adolescents, adults, and senior adults.

Chicago behavioral offers no cost mental health assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days week. A licensed mental health professional will recommend treatment based on your individual needs.

We take the health and safety of our patients, staff, and their families very seriously. CDC and local health guidelines have been implemented at our hospital to ensure everyone’s safety.

As an added feature, assessments can also be completed via telehealth. Call to schedule an appointment or for more information: 844-756-8600.

COVID-19 and Mental Health

COVID -19 has caused a serious economic downturn and tremendous social changes impacting mental health of all ages.  This has resulted in an overall spike in suicide.  In addition,

  • 67% of people report higher levels of stress since the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • 57% say they have greater anxiety since the outbreak.
  • 54% say they are more emotionally exhausted.
  • 53% say they feel sadness day-to-day.
  • 50% feel they are more irritable.
  • 42% report their overall mental health has declined.

With such impact on mental health it has become necessary for individuals to seek support for themselves and others.  We are here for you 24-7. Making one phone call is all it takes to get the support needed.  Call Chicago Behavioral Hospital at 844-756-8600.

What are we doing to combat COVID-19?

Mental health and addiction treatment should not be delayed, and we are taking every precaution possible while continuing to offer needed treatment in a safe way to you or a loved one.

Chicago Behavioral Hospital is following CDC guidelines, as well as that of state and local public health departments.

Every patient, family member, and visitor who comes to our facilities is screened for COVID-19 with a Symptom Questionnaire and by having their temperature taken. This ensures that people with symptoms of COVID-19 are recognized promptly and actions are taken to guarantee that illness is not introduced or spread.

Staff and patients are monitored daily for COVID-19 symptoms and are screened with a temperature check as well as the Symptom Questionnaire and are asked to stay home if they are feeling ill. Mask wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing, and environmental deep cleaning continues to be top priorities for us and occurs on a regular basis 7 days a week.

How does this impact patients?

We are committed to high quality, compassionate care, and that will not change.  We remain available 24/7 to screen and accept patients into all our inpatient and outpatient programs.

What You Can Do to Prevent Virus Spread

  1. Notify staff if you have a fever or are feeling sick. The hospital may ask you to stay home.
  2. Notify staff if you have reason to believe you have been in contact with an infected person.
  3. Wash your hands often with either soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  4. Routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home (doorknobs, light switches, countertops).
  5. Follow social distancing guidelines.
  6. Wear a mask.
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Partnering With Local Schools and Organizations to Prevent Suicide

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Teen Suicide Prevention: How to Help Someone who is Feeling Suicidal

Get Tested for Stigma: Learn About Mental Illness Awareness Week

This year, Oct. 7–13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, a time to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. You can get involved at www.nami.org/miaw.

One in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. Those problems can contribute to the onset of more serious mental health disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Approximately one-half of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14. Unfortunately, long delays—sometimes decades—often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help.

It is critical to learn to recognize early symptoms of mental illness and talk with a doctor or mental health counselor about any concerns. Early identification and treatment of a mental health disorder can make a big difference for successful management of a condition.
For example, major depression is a mental health disorder that is more serious than “feeling blue” or temporary sadness. Be alert to any combination of the following symptoms:

• Depressed mood (sadness)
• Poor concentration
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
• Disturbance of appetite
• Feelings of guilt
• Thoughts of suicide

Bipolar disorder involves cycles of both depression and mania. It is different from normal “ups and downs” that many people experience. It involves dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. Symptoms are not the same in everyone; some people may experience intense “highs,” while others primarily experience depression. Mania involves combinations of the following symptoms:

• Euphoria
• Surges of energy
• Reduced need for sleep
• Grandiosity
• Talkativeness
• Extreme irritability
• Agitation
• Pleasure-seeking
• Increased risk-taking behavior

Schizophrenia is a different type of mental illness but can include features of mood disorders. It affects a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to other people. Untreated, it also may include psychosis—a loss of contact with reality. Symptoms include:

• Difficulty with memory
• Difficulty in organizing thoughts
• Lack of content in speech
• Emotional flatness
• Inability to start or follow through with activities
• Inability to experience pleasure
• Delusions
• Hallucinations

Other types of mental illness include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder) and borderline personality disorder. Mental Illness Awareness Week is a time to learn about them all.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, there will be many opportunities to learn more and provide support. In addition, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11. Organizations around the world are encouraged to offer free, anonymous questionnaires that can help individuals identify potential signs of depression. Learn more at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/ndsd.

NAMI offers helpful information through its website (www.nami.org) and HelpLine (800-950-NAMI (6264)). With affiliates in hundreds of communities nationwide, NAMI also offers free education classes and support groups.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of mental illness should see a doctor or mental health specialist to discuss their symptoms. Many treatment options exist. Chicago Behavioral Hospital provides free assessments for anyone experiencing symptoms of mental illness. An assessment can be scheduled by calling 844-756-8600.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, please take the first step to #CureStigma. Get tested at www.curestigma.org. Find out if you have stigma and help become part of the antidote to cure the barriers that prevent people from finding help and support.