Posted on Mar 24, 2021
Our speakers on March 24th were Psychologist Sarah Emerson, & Psychotherapist Nicole Runyon.  Together they spoke to us about the Mental Health Impact of the Past 12 Months
Both Ms. Emerson and Ms. Runyon have seen an increase in therapy services for children and adults over the past year.  Social isolation, through fear and/or government mandate, has been of the major concerns and has led to conditions such as agoraphobia. It has also magnified the intensity and frequency of anxieties such as a fear of driving or becoming obsessive compulsive about germs. 
The isolation has led to increased challenges at home, either marital or between children and adults.  Parents can also be spread too thin, finding it convenient to put their children in front of electronic devices, leading to increased disconnection.  This lack of social interaction can cause mental health issues for children and teens and the therapists are preparing for a ripple effect on different age groups.
Feeling tremendous guilt is also impacting their patients.  They feel guilty for not being able to see parents in nursing homes or hospitals.  If a parent should pass away, the guilt is amplified by not being able to celebrate their life through a traditional funeral. 
Both therapists highly recommend checking in on one another.  This helps to lessen the feeling of loneliness and can also allow for those reaching out to see if someone is really suffering and possibly suicidal.