Mental health could be the second wave of coronavirus issues

How to protect your mental health during the pandemic

TULSA, Okla. — Leaders with the Healthy Minds Policy Initiative say mental health is the second wave of the coronavirus crisis -- both in terms of death and protecting people’s health.

The initiative is encouraging people to take their mental health as seriously as their physical health during the pandemic.

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They estimate that, due to the current crisis, 92,000 Oklahomans could experience suicidal thoughts, and 18,400 may attempt suicide. Drug addiction could also come from increased unemployment and financial stress.

Children’s mental health needs are expected to increase substantially -- 30% of children who are involved in quarantines may experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

The initiative says the hope by releasing these numbers they will be able to influence policy conversations on how people respond to the mental health needs of others.

Signs that someone is struggling with mental health issues include sadness, less motivation, more worrying, and not sleeping well.

People can find resources for help by going to https://www.healthymindspolicy.org/.

You can also reach out to your healthcare provider or a hotline like COPES: (918) 744-4800.