I’ve just spent the last hour on the CDC website for updates on the pandemic. As a mental health provider, I need to be tuned in to the trends that are happening in harder hit parts of the country as our Midwest section has had more time to prepare for the virus invasion. I want to know more about what’s next for us in North Dakota.
What I’m learning is both good and bad. Since the virus has taken longer to arrive here in North Dakota, I have been able to watch our trends bend to the pressure of what is approaching. The good news is that we have had time to get ready. We have a proactive Governor and healthcare system that is mobilizing resources. While the West and East Coast had to live through getting clobbered by the virus, we have watched it arrive at our border in slow motion.
Currently, North Dakota has 644 positive cases from the 15,000 people tested, 54 people have been hospitalized and 13 people have died. Sadly, these numbers are outdated even as I write them. The number missing is the number of people who are experiencing higher intensity of stress and anxiety. With all that is disrupted, we would expect to see higher rates of job and financial insecurity, substance abuse, domestic violence, and PTSD. When it all gets to be overwhelming, the brain can manifest thoughts of suicide. Calls to Suicide Hotlines are rising. Relationships are strained, children are bored and we are all missing our daily routines. So, what’s next?
We need to keep focused on the goal: Maintaining Health. We need to guard our mental health and seek support. We need to reach out and create community with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and elders. We need to keep vigilant about our protective practices like face masks and hand washing. We need to be resourceful for our finances, our adaptive coping strategies and our well being. This problem is a long way from being solved, we need to keep focused on long term strategies to deal with catastrophic changes imposed by this virus. I’m here for you if you need to invent a way through this difficult journey. Call Journey Counseling for an appointment today. 701-356-5544. You can also book online at Journeycounselors.com