CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way that we live our lives.
With hundreds of thousands out of work and the unemployment rate at nearly 8%, it’s no secret that many Americans are experiencing a rough patch.
Eve Nite, Community Liason of Erlanger Behavioral Health, says that the pandemic has brought conversations around mental health into the spotlight.
“I think all aspects of life from isolation to not being able to have coping skills that we used to. I mean Chattanooga is known for it’s music and arts and events. I think it’s okay that we all feel a little depressed and anxious, I think that’s completely normal,” says Nite.
Family and relationship dynamics have also been strained by declining mental health as well. In Hamilton County alone, there’s been an 89% increase in domestic violence reports since March.
Licensed counselor Anna Downer Youngs says the worry of getting the virus itself is enough to cause major stress.
“It’s created several issues. One is just the stress of getting the virus. And so when people are more stressed, they require more in relationships. They have less margin, less patience, less energy. We’ve seen that across the board. And we’ve also seen people just struggling with the isolation,” says Youngs.
Youngs hopes that normalizing mental health issues and validating fears of the virus will encourage those who have been suffering to reach out.