Even though Mental Health Week – which ran May 4 to 10 – has passed, the topic is always important to discuss. That is especially true during the current pandemic.
Many people are unemployed, and feeling an accompanying sense of stress and anxiety as they face down potential hardship.
Those who are fortunate to still be working – including our reporters – find themselves busier than ever, as staffing cutbacks heap extra responsibilities onto their workload. With that comes its own stress and exhaustion.
Most people have now spent a full two months at home in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, leaving only when necessary. This, too, can take a toll on the psyche.
In a briefing during Mental Health Week, Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw highlighted the affects COVID-19 is having on this front.
"Prior to the pandemic, one in five Albertans were expected to experience a mental health or addiction issue at some point in their lifetime," she said. "As a result of this pandemic, all Albertans may be feeling increased fear, anxiety or sadness."
Hinshaw added the impact on mental health will be felt for a long time.
We join Hinshaw in encouraging our readers to take their mental health seriously during these uncertain times. If you are struggling, reach out to friends, family and loved ones and tell them how you're feeling.
If you're in a good place, also reach out and check-in on those in your circle.
As Hinshaw noted, it's also important to thank the people that are supporting you, whether it is a partner, a parent, a child or a friend.
This May long weekend, our hope for all our readers is that you'll be able to find a small respite. Even though you may not be going far, we hope you'll be able to unplug and relax in some degree, and that you'll truly take care of yourself.