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Community Engagement

The Local Take: Keep Your Head Together During COVID-19 With Mental Health America-Georgia

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This week on WCLK's The Local Take, I reached out to Mental Health America in Georgia. The COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc in many lives--causing deaths, job loss, housing insecurity, and more. People who may have never considered therapy until now may find it challenging to find a mental health provider.

Those who were looking for culturally sensitive providers are now considering group therapy at local non-profits. Additionally, there's another group who have thrived in our new environment. They are not free from the stress of our situation, but they've been able to turn lemons into lemonade. To discuss both challenges, we're speaking with Mental Health America Georgia Executive Director Abdul Henderson.

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Mental Health America - It's okay to be not okay.  Their anxiety screening tool can be found here https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/

Henderson shares that the Mental Health America Georgia office is a national non-profit that provides training and advocacy. They offer several programs, including Suicide Prevention Training, Mental Health First Aid, and even a Puppet Troup for kids.

Georgia ranks 51st in access to mental healthcare professionals. One reason is that we need to bring more people into the profession.  Henderson speaks about one of their programs that exposexshigh school students to opportunities in mental healthcare.  Additionally, the lack of broadband in rural communities limits even telehealth appointments. He speaks about policy changes to retain those currently in the workforce.

I ask about a group of people who have thrived in the Pandemic environment who whisper about their success because they feel guilty that things are working out for them.  Henderson shares that stress happens no matter what the capacity and that we are all running our own race.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, Henderson says the one thing you can do immediately is to breathe. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. This will reduce your heart rate. Often we don't even realize that we are holding our breath in stressful situations.

To take the Mental Health America Anxiety Screening

For more information on Mental Health America – Georgia Office

For more information on Abdul Henderson