One Year Later – Caryn Thompson

Now, as almost 1.5 million Pennsylvania residents have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, so many of them leave the vaccination centers or medical facilities with a sense of relief. They feel  an overwhelming rush of calm or joy at seeing a light at the end of this very long, dark road that we have been traveling for the past year. However, for some, there can also be an increased anxiety for so many reasons. There may be questions about the vaccine itself, especially if the individual has pre-existing medical conditions; questions about how society is going to reintegrate to work, school, and social gatherings; most especially, they may have anxiety over how our isolation requirements may change yet again. 

For those who may struggle with depression and anxiety, it could have taken  many months to get comfortable or find a way to function within the structure society has been asked to live in over the last year. Now, as the pandemic is shifting and changing, we must shift and change with it.  It may have seemed like a long, drawn out year to others, but when you struggle with mental health challenges, developing a new life structure is not an easy task. Multiple changes over the past year may feel fast and furious. 

As so many are moving forward, looking toward a future without isolation, remember your friends who have been struggling over the past year. They may not be out of the woods yet. They may still be in the shadows of this pandemic, living with fear of change and fear of the unknown. Check in with them.  Ask if they need help or an ear to listen.

If you have friends or family who need emotional assistance, reach out, MHA has multiple support groups, peer services, and the Community Mental Health Assistance Program (CMAP) that may be able to help. 

Remember, we have gotten through year one of this pandemic with the support of one another. We can get through the next step of this pandemic if we keep supporting one another. 

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