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Help is available, coping with mental health during the pandemic

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CBS 4 News: by Taniqua Pennix

Gainesville, Fla — According to the CDC nearly 40% of US adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse during the pandemic.

Gainesville resident, Philip Floor, said like many people, he spent the last year isolated and feeling lonely. “In the beginning parts of the pandemic, it was really heavy. It was a huge shock, and it kind of took everything in my life and stopped it,” he said.

Philip found the lockdowns and social restrictions slowly taking an effect on his mental health, so he started writing. In his new book, “Ready, Fire, Aim: A Relentless Pursuit to Find Sustainable Joy,” he shares his journey with others. “With loneliness, depression, and isolation, and some of the biggest things that I implemented in my life that I talked about in my book, were the ideas of inviting and intentionality. So I realized, that I wasn’t really inviting anyone into my life during that time because I couldn’t hang out with anybody,” he said.

The weight of mental health issues due to the pandemic, prompted Meridian Behavioral Healthcare to increase their services to meet the needs of those suffering.

The Vice President of Outpatient Services for North Clinicals, Latifa Ranganadan, said feelings of anxiety and depression are to be expected with record breaking job losses, and people being required to work at home. “I feel mental health, sometimes people are afraid to talk about it, because they feel people are going to judge them,” she said.

In response, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare is now offering virtual on-demand care 24/7.“ They are able to call at any given time through out the day or evening. They can call and say my name is, and I would like to get an evaluation is it possible, and at that point we’ll do an evaluation with them, and get them ready to start seeing a clinician,” she said.

For those seeking more direction, Meridian wants people to know they have trained professionals working around the clock to help, and you don’t have to suffer in silence.

See the original March 18, 2021 story here:


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