By Abigail Kendal (’22)
Over the past year, we have become hypervigilant about our physical health, and for a good reason. As we have separated from loved ones, abandoned activities, and distanced ourselves from friends, one phrase has become eerily common.
We are all in this together.
From subway stops to school emails and store cancellations, this mantra has defined the past year. It’s a call for unity, perseverance, and positivity amongst the chaos of our world. But quite frankly, it’s simply not enough. The loss, turmoil, and trauma of these times will persist for many of us, even once we receive both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. After over a year in isolation, we don’t need optimistic slogans, we need genuine emotional support. We don’t need empty platitudes, we need accessible therapy.
Not only does this phrase detract from the silent suffering many of us are going through, but it also minimizes moments of crisis that are related to the coronavirus and its impacts. If you are struggling with virtual school and the workload of 2021, your thoughts and feelings are valid. If your body and mind have changed with the troughs and peaks of the pandemic, you are not alone. If your existing mental health issues have escalated recently, I see you. Above all else, in this moment, it is important to focus on our mental health to the same extent that we care about our physical health. That means checking in regularly with loved ones, taking breaks, exercising, treating yourself with grace, and for some of us, attending therapy and finding psychiatrists. Since March of 2020, we have not only witnessed an unprecedented public health crisis unfold before our eyes, but we have also endured a heartbreaking mental health epidemic. The statistics are astounding, but I don’t need to rattle off numbers to support this argument, for at this point in time, most of us feel this way ourselves. Moving forward, it is imperative that we support and uplift our minds as confidently as we do our bodies. In order to keep this promise, below you can find a myriad of resources: please explore them, share them, and embrace them.
Michigan Government Mental Health Resources
Mental Health during COVID – CDC
Jordan Porco Foundation Resources
National Alliance on Mental Illness Page