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If you're struggling with mental health, there's always help

The pandemic has affected everyone and their families differently, and research shows it's played a major role in the problem of anxiety and depression.

PHOENIX — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and new research from the World Health Organization reveals a 25% increase in signs of anxiety and depression across the globe.

Experts like Kimberly McWilliams, a counselor and senior director at Terros Health, are sharing steps that anyone who is struggling can take and that they should know support is out there.

"The pandemic has certainly exacerbated mental health issues, especially around depression and anxiety and substance abuse," McWilliams said.

The pandemic has affected everyone and their families differently, and research shows it's played a major role in the problem of anxiety and depression among people, but as McWilliams says some solutions to sidestep a slump are just a phone call away.

Facilities like Terros Health have expanded their group classes as well as telemedicine visits for those who need the flexibility on their road to recovery.

"Be kind to yourself and know that you're not alone in these feelings. If you notice that you're slipping into maybe sleeping more than usual, eating more or less than usual, maybe you have turned to substances and are using drugs, recognizing that first and saying, hey this is something that I'm doing that isn't good for me," she said. 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an estimated 26% of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder each year. McWilliams says watching for signs in your own home can be telling.

"This could look like mood swings or mood shifts, either isolating from family and friends or maybe on the extreme end, not really paying attention to regular responsibilities," she added.

Steps to step away from stress, anxiety, depression:

  • Go for a walk
  • Talk to a professional
  • Open up about your feelings
  • Understand changes in behavior
  • Be mindful

She adds that with two years of isolation pushing people to more screen time, it's easy to fall into a false sense of insecurity about your looks or your life, but it's important to remember your worth and well-being.

"I don't know at this point if it's really helping us with making those human connections or if it's causing more stress. It really depends on what you're searching out on social media and how much time you're spending on social media," she explained.

The bottom line is that no matter your rock bottom, there's always help to boost you up and get you back on track.

"When they've approached us for help, we want to make sure that we are taking care of them in a timely manner, we've increased our group services to provide support with adults and children," McWilliams said.

Resources for better mental health:

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