Mental health advocacy group uses technology to help those with anxiety, depression during pandemic


Mental health advocacy group uses technology to help those with anxiety, depression during pandemic

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As the coronavirus spreads, so does stress and fear.

Peer
support groups serve as a place of comfort and connection for people with mental
health conditions.

But
with a stay-at-home order across Sacramento, the National Alliance on Mental Illness
can’t host its weekly meetings in-person.

So
NAMI Executive Director David Bain is turning to the Internet, hosting meetings
through video chats on Zoom.

“It’s kind of interesting, a month or two ago people were saying ‘we have too much technology.’ And now technology is what’s helping us maintain connections with one another,“ explained Bain.

He told
FOX40 Sunday that these groups are more important now than ever as physical
isolation takes a mental toll.

“We as human beings just need that sort of interaction,“ said Bain.

Bain
worries more people will experience anxiety and depression in the coming weeks
as the coronavirus upends life as we know it.

He
recommends trying to keep a routine, to maintain some certainty in such an
uncertain time. 

“If you’re used to going into work at 8:00 in the morning and you get up at 6:00, I would still get up at 6:00 and have yourself at your work desk if you’re working at home now,“ said Bain.

Physical
health can also play a large role in your mental state.

Bain
said eating healthy, sleeping well and going outside to exercise in the fresh
air can all help, along with maintaining your relationships.

“If you have a phone and have access to email or social media. Get out on that and use that. And If you find that it’s too much for you then pull back. But people need to be getting out and have that interaction,” said Bain.

Bain stresses
that this is a difficult time for everyone so don’t be afraid to reach out for
help. 

It’s
why the nonprofit’s helpline to connect you to mental health resources is still
up and running. 

That
number is 916-364-1642.

You
can learn more at https://namisacramento.org/

If you need additional help, please visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


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