September 19, 2021

HOSPITAL CORNER: ‘It is so important’ to monitor and evaluate mental health

Mental health is an important piece of our overall health and well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we relate to others, handle stress and perceive the world around us. Also, just like physical health, it is extremely important to monitor and evaluate our mental health periodically, as it too can ebb and flow over time.

The last 20 months haven’t been easy, and living through a global pandemic certainly put a strain on physical, as well as mental, health for many. In fact, several national surveys revealed significant increases in adverse mental health symptoms.

According to a June 2020 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, 40.9% of respondents reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition.

In addition, the pandemic has proven to be especially hard on older adults, many of whom may have already been experiencing loss or difficult life transitions often related to aging.

It seems apparent that ongoing threat of the virus, social isolation, food insecurity, financial issues and other challenges sparked intense feelings of uncertainty, fear and loneliness in many. While worry and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, when these emotions are experienced long-term, they can have a detrimental impact on individuals’ mental health and overall well-being.

Here at ACHS, we have Senior Life Solutions (SLS) – a program dedicated to addressing the emotional and behavioral health of older adults or seniors. Senior Life Solutions has an interdisciplinary team of caring, experienced behavioral health professionals here to help you or your loved one develop coping skills to live a more meaningful life.

It is so important to recognize the signs of deteriorating mental health and ask for help. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please contact us at 641-743-7202.

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This is the first in a series of monthly columns that will print the second week of each month from Adair County Health System focusing on healthcare topics that are meaningful to our readers.