How to protect your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 11:26 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 23:26:43-04

(WXYZ) — The mental health of metro Detroiters is of great concern. as we all try to figure out the best ways to cope while dealing with COVID-19.

The virus has people anxious, depression, panicked and afraid.

Dr. Joel Young is psychiatrist. He is also the Medical Director of the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine.

“We have about 70 people in our practice. Because of the need for physical distancing, we pretty much overnight setup a virtual practice,” details Dr. Young.

They have pretty much been working virtually non-stop, because the mental health needs of metro Detroiters is unusually high in these unusual times.

“Everybody is anxious to an extent. We’re all worried about these basic things that a month ago we really weren’t worried about. We’re worrying about our family. We’re worried about their basic survival. It’s particularly problematic, if people have a pre-existing diagnosis of anxiety or depression,” Dr. Young explains.

The concerns and fears are many.

“Obviously, the main concern is safety. Particularly those who are quarantined with family members who are ill,” he says.

And for those who are in nursing homes or hospitals or people you just can’t reach out and touch. And the list goes on.

“There’s economic uncertainty. People are being laid off. What we’re finding is very quickly, families are quarantined in small places sometimes, 500 to 1000 feet, there’s no place for people to go. Children, maybe with a pre-existing history of anxiety, depression or ADHD are having a very harder time, being cooped up. I’m particularly concerned about people who are in isolation. Those who even in the best of times, don’t have people close by," says Dr. Young.

So, please reach out to family and friends, even if you haven’t in a while. Call, text, email, or video chat. That connection can mean so much.

One of the things the doctor is most worried about is violence.

“What we’re seeing is some domestic issues, we’re seeing a lot of irritability. And sometimes that’s blowing over to anger and frustration. What I worry about is physical violence. I’m fearful that we’re going to see more of that, when people kind of reach the breaking point. This is not the time to resolve issues. This is the time to co-exist peacefully. And to postpone difficult confrontations,” pleads Dr. Young.

They are here to help all of us, especially those who are experiences extreme panic and distress. They will counsel you and prescribe medication if needed.

The staff at the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine wants you to know, you are not alone. If you need help, please reach out at or call 248-608-8800.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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