How COVID Has Affected Mental Health in America
According to my favorite psychologist, speaker, and author, Henry Cloud, between 15 and 17 percent of adults had a diagnosable mental health issue (depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, addiction, sleep deprivation, etc.) pre-COVID; now, approximately 40 percent are suffering. Yes, a mental health crisis is affecting the workplace.
When it comes to COVID and its impact on mental health, Cloud believes there are four principles on which to focus. He also offers some rhetorical questions and tips regarding the issue. I would suggest you review the list, self-diagnose, and then think of your leadership team. (Editorial comment: Some of us are included in the 40 percent.)
Connection vs. Emotional Isolation
- Symptoms of disconnection include depression, moodiness, anxiety, fear, addictions, and distorted thinking.
- Realize that we all have a need for connection. Are you isolated?
- Do you have a safe place for emotional support — possibly a mentor; accountability partner; a candid, close relationship with another person of the same sex; or some type of support/fellowship group?
- Are you willing to be vulnerable?
Freedom vs. Loss of Control
- Can you set limits or boundaries?
- Are you enabling someone?
- Are you blaming others for your problems?
- Set limits on bad behavior, control, and manipulations by others.
- Respect others’ freedom.
- You may be one firing away from success.
Acceptance vs. Denial (How do you handle imperfections?)
- Can you face the facts and reality of situations?
- Are you willing to be vulnerable about problems?
- Again, do you have a safe place where you can solve the problem?
Adulthood vs. Remaining a Child
- Have you become an adult, or in your mind are you still a child?
- Do you feel inferior?
- Are you a people-pleaser?
- Do you have an excessive need for approval?
- Are you a ridged, black-and-white thinker? (Life is lived in the gray area.)
- Own your own opinions.
- Take people off pedestals.
- See yourself and others as different but equal.
- If any of the above items strike a nerve with you, talk to someone who can help you — a counselor, pastor, or mentor.
- If any of the above items strike a nerve with someone who reports to you, encourage them to talk with someone who can help them — a counselor, pastor, or mentor.