MFS Blog

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Mental Health Care: A Psychologist's Perspective

 

By Pamela A. McCaskill, Ph.D., LP

Have you ever wondered what this past year has been like from a psychologist’s perspective? People often ask me, how are you doing in the midst of all this chaos?  To put it mildly, the past 14 months have been a whirlwind for myself and our team Meet Our Team.

 

The Storm Hit The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Mental Health Care: A Psychologist's Perspective - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - tornado

Seemingly overnight, activities ceased, and everyone dispersed, secluded within their homes, as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly emerged and dominated the landscape. Many of us, our clients and family members all suffered significant losses. Parents (including many of us!) have found themselves on “triple-duty” – parenting, teaching, and working. Most people became isolated from peers and support systems outside their homes, but we found that children, teens and college students have been hit especially hard.

Our team of psychologists had to quickly figure out tele-health technology & adapt to connecting with suffering people via computer screens.  I was stressed, my staff were stressed, our families & friends were stressed, and our clients were stressed, as many things previously relied upon to help us cope during challenging times suddenly became unavailable.  Important aspects of our worlds simply seemed to be failing all around us.  

How We Survived

We found that taking deep breaths, trying to focus on the positive and finding some benefit in problems/ challenges, limiting exposure to social media (and the daily news reports!), regular exercise, and active mindfulness practices were our life-preservers.  The benefits of being part of a group practice became very apparent, as we leaned on & helped each other navigate the storm – we were so much better together and could not have done this alone.

An Unexpected AftermathThe Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Mental Health Care: A Psychologist's Perspective - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - mental_health_ladder_picture

I recall thinking, “We can get through this for a month…OK, for 3 months… OK, 6 months…um, OK…for a year? Wait…” Now 14 months later, people are starting to emerge from their homes and those businesses fortunate enough to survive the pandemic experiences are opening back up. However, even as the pandemic appears to be subsiding and with our world in the process of regaining some sense of normality, we find ourselves in the midst of a serious continuing mental-health crisis, with huge spikes in anxiety, depression, stress, domestic violence and suicide. Yes, we as mental health professionals are trained for this – we want to help, we can help, and we do help. However, there simply are not enough hours in the day to see everyone we would like to see while addressing their needs sufficiently and so, unfortunately, we have had to triage the most pressing needs, with other clients in legitimate need of help on waiting lists for the next available resource. Mental health units in hospitals are full, so we find ourselves treating people with more severe mental illnesses (genuinely in need of inpatient treatment) on an outpatient basis.

What Now?

I think this is going to a long haul in the field of mental health – trauma, loss, depression & anxiety do not resolve overnight, and people truly are suffering.  We are taking care of ourselves and each other, putting us in positions to better help others and retaining quality-care standards. However, this also means that our resources & availability can be limited at times, requiring service waiting lists for new clients seeking help.   Now, as the owner of the practice, my focus is on working together to preserve our tight-knit practice family and expand our team of mental health providers to continue to optimally serve our communities.  Are you a psychologist looking to join an amazing group practice?  Click Here

Social Media Checklist For Mental Health

 By: Jaclyn Rink, MSCP, LLP Follow someone who debunks “influencers” and how they take photos Follow someone who promotes good news happening in the world (e.g., acts of kindness etc.) Follow someone who promotes...

5 Tips for Managing Screen Time

  By: Pamela A. McCaskill, Ph.D. One of the most common questions parents are asking me these days is, “How do I limit my child’s use of technology and screen-time when it seems to be so much a part of their daily learning,...

Top Ten Stress Management Tips For Teachers

By: Dr. Nicole Wozniak, PsyD. It used to be that every year, August to June, people knew what to expect.  In August, parents took their children shopping for new school supplies, while teachers began organizing classrooms and lesson...

5 Tips to Beat the Holiday and Post-Holiday Blues

By Emily Brzak, MA, TLLP. 1. Think of the new year as a blank slate. This is an excellent time to begin a new hobby or establish a new goal to steadily work towards. Mine? Train my 12-week old puppy Lola to chew on objects that are not...

Cultivating Mindfulness during Covid-19

By: Ellen Barrett-Becker, Ph.D. Covid-19 has created unprecedented stress for all of us. Balancing new work and school demands during the pandemic has been uniquely challenging. Luckily, mindfulness-based techniques can help you find your center and calm in the storm of stress and anxiety.

What is Telemental Health and How Does it Work?

By Beverly M. Griffor, MA, JD, MS, MBA, TLLP This is a time of changing rules and unsettled norms. Parents are trying to teach their children, all while working from home or coping with layoffs. Children are missing their friends and the ease of...

A is for August and, apparently, ADHD!

This article in the New York Times is very interesting to read if your child was born in August and you have worries or questions about ADHD. It discusses the link between August births and ADHD – a new study that raises questions about...

How To Help A Child With An Anxiety Disorder.

We thought this was an excellent article to share – a recent report from the Child Mind Institute in New York. Anxiety disorders are the most common health problems in children, and they often go untreated while children suffer. Kids with...

Team Building Event at The Brighton Equestrian Club.

A few photos from our recent, very successful team building event at the Brighton Equestrian Club. Thank you to our friends at the BEC for providing such a fantastic venue. And, of course, thank you to the horses for helping to make our day...

Assistive Technology: Are You Missing Something?

By Emily Kavanagh, M.S. Limited Licensed Psychologist Director, McCaskill Family Services Assistive Technology Center Assistive Technology (AT) refers to: “Any item, any piece of equipment or any system that helps an individual bypass,...

C-BIT: An Alternative Treatment for Tics

By Dr. Amanda Klingensmith, Ph.D. Many families have a hard time finding resources for their children with tics. With medications, some patients experience awful side effects, and some find that medications do not affect tic frequency or...

Habits: Making Changes that Last a Lifetime.

By Dr. Fred Upton, Ph.D. I am a person who always wants to have more data. I love step-trackers, heart rate monitors, spread sheets and functional analyses of behavior. If I can graph a behavior, I feel like I can control it. This is not...

Let's Care about Self-Care

By Truc Nguyen Taking care of yourself first and making your mental and physical well-being a priority sounds easy enough, right? However, as easy as it sounds, it can also sound kind of selfish at times. Well, I’m here to help...
Page: 12 - All
In-Person and Telehealth Sessions Available