Why The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Become a Mental Health Pandemic

At the moment, the entire world is in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its devastation on the physical bodies of millions of people is bad enough, but experts are fearful that many more millions of people will be victims of its impact on mental health.

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), “the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health is already extremely concerning.”


How Is This Different?

Each year the world faces various strains of influenza. Globally, WHO estimates that influenza kills between 290,000 to 650,000 people per year. The numbers depend upon which strains of influenza predominate in any given year and how effective the vaccine is. As of this writing, the worldwide death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 432,000 lives—right about in the middle of an estimated influenza death toll.

So why is the world terrified of COVID-19 and yet sort of  “same old, same old” about influenza?


The New Kid On The Block

Prior to the end of 2019, no one knew that COVID-19 even existed. And when it showed up, no one knew how to fight it, much less conquer it.

It was a brand new scary, nasty, and deadly enemy.

Imagine, for a moment, that the Earth is suddenly invaded and attacked by a species of creature we have never encountered before. The creatures don’t look like us—in fact, we can’t even see them, so we don’t even know when they are around us! They could be in our midst for days, even weeks, and we’d never know it, until it’s too late.

There are so many unanswered questions about these creatures:

  • How will they treat us?
  • Are they friendly?
  • Are they harmless?
  • Will they destroy us?
  • Will we be able to capture and control them?
  • Do we have the right weapons to fight them?
  • If we conquer them, could they ever come back?
  • Can we prevent another attack?

Continuing in our imaginations, we have always had leaders we could look to and trust to keep us safe, to answer the questions we have. But now even the smartest men and women on Earth are baffled. They have never seen anything like these creatures. They have no answers. They put forth a lot of ideas, but often the ideas contradict one another. Besides that, the experts keep changing their minds! We are incredibly confused, and we don’t know what to believe or whom to trust.

And while the experts are working day and night for solutions, the creatures keep on killing us.

Our leaders tell us to stay home, to hide from the creatures, to not go to work or school, to isolate ourselves. They’ve closed all the stores and all the places we like to go to amuse ourselves. They tell us not to associate with each other—you never know, your neighbor, who seems like a nice person, might be secretly harboring the creature…

That’s COVID-19 in a nutshell.



It’s no wonder you’re afraid! And you’re not alone, either. In a recent poll, 56% of people said they have experienced at least one of the following symptoms of mental or emotional disturbance since the pandemic began:

  • Trouble eating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent headaches
  • Frequent stomach aches
  • Shorter tempers
  • Increased domestic violence
  • Increased child abuse
  • Increased depression, anxiety, distress, and low self esteem

Another study reports that the pandemic could lead to tens of thousands of additional “deaths of despair” from drug and alcohol misuse and suicide due to unemployment, social isolation, and fears about the virus. (Note: If you are feeling suicidal or know of someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 now.) Those who had mental health disorders or substance abuse issues before the pandemic are likely to have an increased need for mental health services because of it.


Effects Of Closures and Mandatory Isolation

One of the main problems stemming from the pandemic is the isolation that is imposed upon us to prevent the spread of the virus.

Isolation affects people of all age groups, but older folks—who are especially at risk for dying from the virus—are more likely to experience feelings of loneliness, despair, anxiety, and depression as interactions with family and caregivers are severely limited.

Mental health issues may arise among people of school age due to fewer opportunities to engage with peers. Graduation ceremonies, proms, school attendance and other normal activities are cancelled. Students who live in violent or otherwise unhappy homes used to find school attendance a relief; now that relief is denied them.

Parents are suddenly called upon to be homeschool teachers, as some school districts mandate that learning continue while school buildings are closed. And if these parents work essential jobs outside the home, who will oversee their children, much less teach them, while they are at work?

If you’ve lost your job, you have an entirely new set of worries—paying bills, providing food, and keeping that roof over your head—not to mention trying to avoid the virus.


Front Line Heroes

And what about the people who are caring for the millions with the virus?

Recent research indicates that the rate of professional burnout in hospitals is especially high for young nurses, nurses in hospitals with lower nurse-to-patient ratios, and physicians. The risk of suicide is also high among physicians as they do all they can to heal patients, but are ultimately helpless to prevent tens of thousands of deaths.

In another recent poll, 51% of people who live with a healthcare worker in the household said worry and stress has had a negative impact on them, compared to 44% of people who do not live with a healthcare worker.


Other Vulnerable Populations

In some places, language is a barrier to understanding the virus and getting help. For example, in a shrimp processing plant in Newport, Oregon, USA, 124 cases of COVID-19 were recently detected. Among the afflicted are many Spanish-speaking workers. But also among them are people who belong to an indigenous group from Guatemala who don’t speak Spanish, but instead speak Mam, a language that is largely unwritten. As a consequence, many of the Mam-speakers did not understand that even though they felt all right, they tested positive and needed to stay home for 14 days. So they continued to circulate in the community, potentially spreading the virus, until an English-Mam speaker was located and was able to convince them to isolate themselves.

People of color and other ethnicities also account for a large proportion of the “essential” workforce, which means they are more at risk of contracting COVID-19. In fact, there are a higher proportion of deaths among people of color than among whites. The significant exposure of people of color to COVID-19 is likely to leave a lasting effect on their mental health.


Reasons For Hope

There are reasons for fear and depression during the pandemic. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you are experiencing some of these issues. But the good news is, there are also reasons for hope.

And hope always overshadows fear and depression!

The pandemic will not last forever; it will end. In the meantime, practice isolation and other safety measures as advised or mandated by your national and local governments—but also keep in touch via social media with your family and friends. Connect with others who may benefit from your friendship and help. Giving service to others will always make you feel better.

Humans are social creatures. We need each other to survive all sorts of life’s problems. The pandemic is but a small moment in the vast scheme of things.


One More Thing…

A vaccination for the coronavirus is in the works. Look at this list of diseases that—not that long ago—used to maim or kill people, but are now prevented with vaccines:

  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Hib (a type of flu of kids under five; caused brain damage or death)
  • Measles
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Pneumococcal Disease (again, affected primarily children)
  • Rotavirus
  • Mumps
  • Chicken Pox
  • Diphtheria

Someday soon, the coronavirus will be on this list too!


No Need To Suffer!

If you are experiencing some mental health symptoms, please contact a mental health treatment provider. During the pandemic, many of us are offering “telehealth” services, which are services provided electronically, such as through an online video chat.

 (Again, if you are feeling suicidal or know of someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 now.)

Take care of your mental health. We’re in this together, and we’ll get through it together.



How A Healthy Brain Leads to Good Mental Health

You are about to board an airplane for a long flight. Suddenly someone runs up to you and says, “Stop! Don’t get on that plane! Your pilot hasn’t drunk enough water today!”


That may be a bit dramatic, but here’s the point: The health of your brain determines the health of your mind—your mental health. In fact, a study of pilots who were dehydrated showed they had poorer performance in the cockpit, especially as it related to working memory, spatial orientation, and cognitive performance—three areas where you definitely want your pilot to be in top shape!

Let’s dig a little deeper.


What Is Mental Health, Anyway?

“Mental health” is not just the absence of a mental illness. Rather, “mental health” is the presence of the following positive characteristics:

  • A sense of contentment
  • A passion for living
  • The ability to laugh and play (play is not just for kids!)
  • Resilience (the ability to bounce back from adversity and trauma)
  • The ability to deal with stress
  • The ability to learn new skills
  • The ability to adapt to change
  • The ability to achieve and maintain balance in work and recreation
  • The ability to build and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem


You Are In Control

There’s a lot of stuff in life that you can’t control—stuff that will result in feelings you have to deal with. No adult skates from birth to death without encountering pain, disappointment, sadness, stress, and grief along the way.

As a result, over a lifetime, most people will suffer from some degree of mental or emotional health problems. It’s just the way life is.

But although you can’t always control what happens to you, there are things you can do to improve your ability to face life’s challenges in the best possible way. There are practices you can put into place to elevate your mood, become more resilient, and enjoy life to the fullest.

And it all begins with taking care of your brain.


But First, Let’s Be Clear…

There is a difference between your brain and your mind.

Your brain is visible. If you could look inside your head, you would see it.

Your mind, on the other hand, is invisible; It’s that whole domain of intelligence, thought, feeling, attitude, belief, and imagination.

The health of your brain affects the health of your mind.

And your mind has a lot of control over what happens in your body.


What Does Your Brain Require?

To be optimally healthy, your brain needs you to take care of your whole body. It needs you to eat a nutritional diet, stay hydrated, stay active, and get adequate sleep. It needs you to not abuse alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal), use tobacco in any form, or engage in any other self-destructive behaviors.


Grandma Was Right

You may have rolled your eyes at your grandmother when she repeated pithy quotes, such as “You are what you eat,” but she was right. What you put into your body affects your entire body, including your brain. You know that if you eat too much sugar, for example, that you might get a stomachache.

Did you also know that a diet high in sugar is directly associated with the following mental conditions?


Diets high in sugar—even if it’s natural honey—cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop. The result is erratic brain cell firing, which can result in:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Increased cravings
  • Increased aggression
  • Decreased sense of wellbeing
  • Decreased memory
  • Decreased ability to learn


Other foods besides sugar that adversely affect your mood are

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Trans fats, or anything with “partially hydrogenated” oil
  • Foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones
  • Refined carbohydrates, such as white flour or white rice
  • Fried food


On the other hand, following are mood-boosting foods that your brain loves:

  • Fatty fish rich in Omega-3s (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, etc.)
  • Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and peanuts
  • Avocados
  • Flaxseed
  • Beans (kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, etc.)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, etc.)
  • Fresh fruit (blueberries, apples, peaches, strawberries, etc.)


Your Brain As A Car

Think of your brain as a cherished, expensive car that requires premium fuel to run in peak condition. You wouldn’t dream of filling it with regular-grade fuel! Anything less than premium fuel is going to decrease horsepower and make the car sluggish.

And if you consistently filled your expensive gasoline-powered car with diesel? The car would stop running altogether and would have to be towed to a repair shop or junkyard.

Now read the same paragraph with a few additions:

Think of your brain as a cherished, expensive car that requires premium fuel (fruits, nuts, berries, Omega-3) to run in peak condition. You wouldn’t dream of filling it with regular-grade fuel (sugar, refined flour, junk food)! Anything less than premium fuel is going to decrease horsepower (energy) and make the car sluggish (tired, sad, depressed).

And if you consistently filled your expensive gasoline-powered car with diesel (drugs, alcohol, trans fats, fried food)? The car would stop running altogether and would have to be towed to a repair shop (hospital) or junkyard (the cemetery!).

See why good nutrition is vital to brain and mind health?



If you think your brain is busy when you are awake, just look at what it’s doing when you’re asleep:

  • Re-energizing your body’s cells
  • Clearing toxins from your brain
  • Forming and maintaining pathways that help you learn
  • Forming and maintaining pathways that create new memories
  • Regulating your appetite
  • Regulating your sex drive
  • Regulating your mood and sense of wellbeing

A sleep study at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that people who were limited to 4.5 hours of sleep per night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When they returned to normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement.

Sleep affects mood, and mood affects sleep. Depression and anxiety make it hard to sleep, and lack of sleep can lead to depression and anxiety. Stress also affects sleep. People under chronic stress generally have sleep problems—and not getting enough sleep increases stress (just ask the parents of a newborn baby!).


Stay Active

It’s no secret that physical activity keeps the body in top shape, but did you know that it’s also highly beneficial to the brain and mind?

You can thank endorphins for that.

Endorphins give you that “runner’s high”; that feeling of euphoria, wellbeing, and bliss . Not only that, but they are believed to relieve pain, build up the immune system, reduce stress, and delay the aging process!

You might be saying “But I hate to exercise!” You say that because you’re probably equating exercise with vigorous activity, like running, or spending hours sweating in the gym. The good news is that endorphins are also produced and released with meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, deep breathing, and even eating spicy food!

Unless you are a couch potato or sit at a desk all day, you’re probably getting more exercise than you think. Household chores can give you a good workout too. Vacuuming, mopping, deep cleaning, washing windows, mowing the lawn (not a riding mower!)…anything that keeps you moving benefits your brain by:

  • Improving blood flow
  • Improving memory
  • Lifting mood
  • Enhancing and protecting learning and thinking skills

And if you are a caregiver of small, active children? You probably get more exercise than you think…


What About Medication?

Many people mistakenly think that mental/emotional problems can be solved only with medication.

While meds are necessary in some cases, taking care of your brain health will go a long way in ensuring that your mental health is in tip-top condition.

At times, we all need a bit of mental health support. Contact us at any time and schedule an appointment!




How To Survive “Pandemic Fear”

We’ve all heard the old saying, “There are no guarantees in life.” The uncertainty of “no guarantees” can evoke great fear, especially when the uncertainty involves something as sinister and previously unknown as the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are living through a time that can challenge your mental health.


What is Fear?

Fear is a natural reaction to what you think is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the danger is real or not. We humans are programmed with several basic needs—one of which is the need to be safe. If we feel unsafe, our bodies naturally go into “fight or flight” mode, and our instinct for safety takes over the part of our brains that would normally tell us to stop, think, and make a rational, reasonable decision about what to do.


Fear is Contagious

Picture this: You are sitting quietly on a park bench, soaking up the warm spring sunshine. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming; Everything around you is quiet and peaceful.

Suddenly you hear footsteps charging toward you and a person screaming, “Run! Hurry! They’re after us!” In an instant, your sense of peace is replaced by an overwhelming sense of fear. You have no idea what this person is talking about, but the frantic look on his face tells you that something horribly threatening is coming your way. So you start running too, even though you have no idea what you’re running from.

It’s only later that you find out that the person, who has an irrational fear of balloons, thought he was being “chased” by a bunch of helium balloons that accidentally got loose from a balloon cart on the other end of the park. Nevertheless, your feeling of fear was triggered by his obvious fear.

Now let’s relate that to the pandemic.


What You Can’t Control

We are bombarded by coronavirus news. For several months now—day after day, week after week—it’s been the top story on every news outlet. And the stories are accompanied by huge graphics in bright, glaring red. How many people have died worldwide; How many people have died in your country; The millions that are yet expected to perish. You see videos of refrigerator trucks, lots of them, lined up behind a hospital, ready to receive bodies of coronavirus victims, because the mortuaries are overflowing and can no longer accommodate all the dead. And the news outlets play these videos over and over and over…

To add to our fear, this “enemy” is invisible. Were it a bunch of balloons, you could easily see the enemy and quickly ascertain that they aren’t a threat. But this microscopic virus is everywhere—or so you are led to believe. It lives in our breath; it lives on surfaces; it can infect us through our eyes, of all things!

And to top it all off—no one knows how to stop it.

No wonder you are consumed with fear!


What You Can Control

Even though you have no control over the pandemic, you are 100% in control of how you react to it! This is where you can slow down, think rationally, and make good decisions about what to do.

In order to make good decisions, it’s necessary that you calm yourself. Try this mindfulness exercise. Find a place where you won’t be distracted. Then take a few deep, slow breaths. Focus all your attention on the here and now. Concentrate on your surroundings. What do you see, hear, or smell?

Think pleasant thoughts. In your mind, imagine a beautiful, peaceful place where you would like to be. What does it look like? How do you feel when you are there? Stay there, in your mind, and lose yourself if the peace and beauty.

Do these mindfulness exercises as often as you feel the need to calm your body and your mind.


But What If…

In fear mode, it’s easy to spiral downward into the depths of “what ifs.” And unfortunately, some people—we call them fear-mongers—love to fuel the fire of worst-case scenarios. For example, if a woman announces that she is pregnant with her first baby, people start telling her horror stories of morning sickness, of life-threatening complications, of unbelievably painful labor and delivery. The poor woman is terrified. She starts thinking, “What if that happens to me?” and her imagination is off and running.

Another irrational feature of fear is “panic buying.” People rush to the stores and buy all the toilet paper, antiseptic cleaners, flour, and bottled water they can get their hands on. If one store is out of supplies, they try to beat the crowds to the next store. It’s then that the “what ifs” strike again. What if the world runs out of toilet paper or antiseptic wipes? What if all the stores shut down? What if [fill in the blank]…?

Now would be a good time to slow down and practice your mindfulness exercises…


A Blessing and a Curse

Technology is wonderful. In times like these, when we are mandated to stay away from each other, we can stay connected with family and friends via video chat, emails, and other social media. Think of the folks in the 1918 flu pandemic. They didn’t have the ability to stay connected with their loved ones they way we do.

But, as mentioned before, technology also enables us to overload on information. It’s so tempting to watch every news show about the coronavirus, to view all the horrific online videos, to absorb all the news we can get our hands on in the name of “staying informed.”

Don’t overdo it. Limit your exposure to “facts”—which, in case you haven’t noticed, seem to change from day to day. Stick to trusted news sources. Barbara Reynolds, PhD, a psychologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, probably said it best: “Modern communication allows people to have a more intimate experience with a threat that’s not real.”


What To Do

There are some things you can do to protect yourself—and when you’ve done all these things, relax! The coronavirus will not last forever. Brilliant scientists all over the world are working as fast as they can to develop treatments and vaccines.

In the meantime, do what the best experts have advised:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home as much as possible, even if you don’t feel sick
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid all non-essential travel and shopping
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out
  • Get plenty of sleep—sleep strengthens your immune system
  • Follow all recommendations from health authorities


Uncertainty is Okay!

Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of life. Think of a time in your life when you weren’t sure what to do or what was going to happen. Now think of today—you made it!

Don’t worry, because worry never, ever solves problems. In fact, it makes problems worse. It robs you of enjoyment, sleep, and energy. Take control over things you can control. For example, if you’ve lost your job, don’t waste your energy worrying about it. Rather, use that energy to search for another job, polish up your resumé, or network with your contacts. Everything will work out.

And every night when you lie down to sleep, think to yourself, “I’m one day closer to the end of the pandemic.”


Help With Mental Health

At times, we all need a bit of mental health support. Elumind Centres for Brain Excellence is here to help. Please go to our website,, and book a free phone consultation.

We’ll all get through this together. And that’s a promise.







How to Manage Pandemic Depression

The current pandemic has physicians and other caregivers worried about more than the physical effects of the virus. Equally important, they are discovering that the virus is having negative effects on worldwide mental health—effects that may last much longer than the pandemic itself does.

It’s safe to say that no one living on earth today has any memory of the last great pandemic, which occurred in 1918. Therefore, 7.5 billion people are together experiencing something horrific for the very first time. And even more frightening, perhaps, is the fact that even the world’s best scientists—the ones we depend on for answers to get us through this—are having a hard time coming to an agreement about how to deal with the situation.


What Am I Supposed to Feel?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to believe that there are “acceptable” ways to feel in any given situation, and if you feel something other than those “acceptable” feelings, there’s something wrong with you. Let’s dispel that right now: Any way you feel is the right way for you to feel. No feeling is ever “wrong,” no matter what the circumstances.

Here’s a real-life example (though names have been changed): Tom and Jeannie had been married over 40 years and had four grown children. Jeannie contracted terminal cancer, and Tom took care of her at home the best he could, with help from medical professionals.

Tom came to work one day and said, “Jeannie died this morning.” His co-workers were horrified. “Tom, why are you here? You should be home! I certainly wouldn’t come to work if my spouse had just died!” Tom was gracious enough to forgive them their judgmental sentiments and simply said, “This is the best way for me to face this.”

Three months later, Tom met Elaine and fell in love. They were soon married. This time, it was his children who were horrified. “How could Dad do that to Mom?”

You might be judging Tom’s decisions and/or the children’s reactions, but here’s the truth—Tom and his children were all entitled to their feelings. None were right or wrong.


Common Reactions to Uncertainty

It’s natural—and absolutely acceptable—to be afraid in the current pandemic situation. We have no idea what’s going to happen, and fear of an uncertain outcome can cause depression.

But just because depression is a natural feeling doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t mitigate the depression to feel better. You aren’t obligated to be depressed until the pandemic passes!


Possible Mitigations

Following are some things to try to help boost your mood. They are not one size fits all—what works for you may not work for someone else. Just as emotional reactions to any given situation are individual, so are reactions to efforts at feeling better.


Deep Breathing

When we are under stress, our breathing tends to speed up; it’s a normal response. However, if we consciously slow down our breathing, our brains get the message that “all is well.” Concentrate on each slow breath, and think, “In…Out…” as you inhale and exhale. Do this as often as you feel the need.


Listen to Inspiring Music

Not everyone’s taste in music is the same, so choose the type that relaxes you. For some that may be classical; others may respond better to soft rock, jazz, or New Age. Sit or lie in a comfortable place and position, and lose yourself in the tunes. Hum or sing along, if you feel so inclined. Music brings joy to the soul.


Repeat a Meaningful Phrase

You may have been inspired by a phrase that means a lot to you. Maybe it’s “this too shall pass” or “I’m all right” or “I’ll get through this.” Whatever it is, find a quiet place, close your eyes, and repeat the phrase to yourself until you feel its calming influence.


Connect Through Technology

Even the most curmudgeonly among us needs human contact, and social isolation can get pretty lonely. Thank goodness for technology! (What did the people during the 1918 pandemic do without it?!) You can keep in contact with your loved ones, and even though you can’t hug them for now, seeing a smiling face reassuring you that they are all right will make you feel better too.


Work on That To-do List

Remember that closet you have been intending to clean out for a couple of years? Now would be a good time to tackle it, or any other chore you’ve been putting off (no judgment—we all do it!) Staying busy alleviates depression, and you’ll also get a fair amount of exercise while you do it.


And Speaking of Exercise…

The “E” word…it sends some people into a funk just hearing it! But studies have shown that exercise alleviates depression. YouTube has many exercise videos that make it fun to work out. Or find a video with a steady beat and dance around your living room. You might even laugh as you try to revive your disco moves. Whatever form of exercise you choose, you’ll feel better when you’re done—guaranteed.


Let Nature Heal You

Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The world’s population may be in chaos, but nature is still on schedule. Flowers are blooming, just as they always have. Birds are singing and building their nests. Trees are leafing out. The sun still rises and sets and affords us some beautifully colored skies.

Even if the weather is not suitable for taking a walk, you can still participate in nature electronically as others have documented their journeys and experiences. There are plenty of nature-related videos available at the click of a remote.



A lot of streaming services are very kindly offering extended free trials or greatly reduced annual fees during this pandemic. Through these services you can learn more about history; science; travel; photography; music; art; drawing; literature; architecture. You can even learn a new language. The possibilities are many and varied.



This may seem like a strange suggestion, but crying is actually very good for you. When you experience stressful situations (the pandemic counts!), the body produces cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol attacks and damages the body’s organs. But here’s the cool thing: Scientists who have studied tears have discovered cortisol in tears—meaning that crying is the body’s natural way of getting rid of this harmful hormone. So, if you feel like crying—do it. Your internal organs will thank you.


Service to Others

Humans have an innate need to feel that their lives have meaning and purpose. Nothing gives us greater joy than helping others. Think about a time when you helped someone—didn’t it feel good?

Giving service to others greatly benefits your mental health. It makes you happy and increases your self-confidence, your sense of purpose, and your self-worth. It imparts a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. It’s a proven way to counteract the effects of depression.


One Final Word…

If you feel depressed to the point of being suicidal, please seek immediate help. In Canada, call 1-833-456-4566. If you are in the United States, call 1-800-273-8255. Don’t wait. The hotlines are available 24/7/365.

Choose life. The pandemic will pass. We’ll all feel better when it does, but in the meantime, take steps to alleviate depression. You’re worth it!