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How the pandemic sheds light on mental health issues

What we could all learn from the coronavirus and the new world we live in.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you could sum up in a few words how we all live our lives under the pandemic you might hear words like alone, isolation or no contact. Words that sound to the average person like a description of an unusually sad situation. Not normal. But to people with mental illness, these can be all day, every day. We spoke to Jody Lorenzo, the director of Sanctuary House in Greensboro. Sanctuary House helps guide people with mental illness to a place of accomplishment and peace. She said we could all learn from the current situation.

"The feelings of being alone, being in isolation are exactly what someone with mental illness would feel especially if they are experiencing depression."

Lorenzo said the average person is just now starting to feel these traits and it is an excellent teaching moment for all of us to think about those who were already experiencing mental illness before a pandemic.

"We are practicing social distancing but its really physical distancing and there is no substitute for having contact with loved ones and friends. We all miss that interaction," Lorenzo said.

Credit: Sanctuary House

The bottom line is that human interaction is comforting to the mind which translates to the body. Lorenzo said if you see anyone who you believe needs some help during these times being a friend is an invaluable gift.

She also said a schedule can help as well. 

"Structure is so important in the healing process for those that are isolated or depressed. It gives them small goals throughout the day that center us as the day goes on," Lorenzo said.

Credit: Sanctuary House

If you need to reach out to Sanctuary House for yourself or someone you know you can go to their website.


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