Church family, allow me to speak directly to you about our collective mental health. We are navigating a perilous landscape. Life in the dual pandemics of coronavirus and racism is traumatizing and overwhelming. Please do not pretend that you are not feeling this. The pain is real. I am concerned about my mental health and yours. That’s why The Park presented two Zoom Mental Health Town Halls in July.
Please take care of yourselves. Below are tips and national hotline for help:
- Take care of your body – Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid drug abuse and excessive alcohol intake.
- Connect with others – Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks – Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed – Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
- Avoid too much exposure to news – Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly.
- Seek help when needed – If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
Dr. Sheron C. Patterson