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NAMI discussion: Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus and stressors associated with it are shining a light on the precarious state of mental health in this country before the virus crisis even started, and how much worse it’s gotten under the strain of the pandemic.

The virus and our national response to it is a double-edged sword that has pitted decisions we make to stay physically healthy against actions needed to stay mentally healthy. And is ultimately making clear that there is no physical health without mental wellness.

That’s why I find this upcoming panel discussion from NAMI Massachusetts and the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19, so interesting.

It’s a conversation focused on the impacts the virus has had on mental health looking at ways the response to the virus has created or exacerbated mental trauma and ways we can address the problem, especially for specific high-risk groups like frontline workers, youth and teens, and BIPOC communities.

Here’s the event summary from NAMI:

The country’s mental health crisis has only been intensified by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ever-increasing numbers of deaths and illness, accompanied by economic fears and racial tensions, have made for a grim picture. During this time of unprecedented crisis, everyone is suffering, but Black, Latinx and Indigenous populations, frontline workers, and young people face disproportionate mental health risks. This one-hour event will shine a light on the often-hidden mental trauma of the coronavirus pandemic and explore ways to move forward.

The list of panelists includes:

Dr. Ken Duckworth, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, NAMI;

Dr. Shekhar Saxena, M.D., Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;

Dr. Karestan Koenen, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;

Chris Hubbard, Cleveland Browns football player and mental health advocate;

DeWanda Wise, actress and mental health advocate; and,

J. Corey Feist, co-founder of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation.

The discussion will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 1-2 p.m. and will be moderated by Jane Pauley, anchor for CBS News “Sunday Morning.”

It promises to be an interesting conversation. Sign up here.

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