PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Saturday is World Mental Health Day. This year, the day has a new sense of urgency for many as COVID-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on all of us.
A Columbia University psychiatrist says there’s going to be a massive increase in mental health disorders due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s not enough preparation for it.
He says now is the time to act.
“Business is good, unfortunately,” Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman said.
In the world of mental health, more people are starting to take control of their wellbeing, but unfortunately, not enough. As COVID-19 cases begin to spike across the country, doctors say now is the time to check your mental temperature.
“If you do see that you are losing weight, gaining weight, not sleeping regularly, irritable, can’t concentrate on getting work done, you should reach out,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman is the chair of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and he says it’s better to err on the side of caution when dealing with this crisis.
“I just felt like hopeless,” Pip Rudge said. “I felt like there was nothing in the future that I was going to be able to accomplish.”
Like so many others adjusting to life during a global pandemic, Rudge’s mental health was pushed to the brink.
“I was struggling with self-harm at the time as well,” Rudge said, “and it was just one of those really, really dark places that I just hope that I never get back to.”
According to statistics, the U.S. has already seen an uptick in suicides and suicide attempts, along with drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
Lieberman says now is the time to fight.
“It’s better to err on the side of caution,” Lieberman said, “and if you don’t know which kind of mental health professional to reach out to or find, start with your primary care doctor.”