Advocacy E-news May 11, 2020
May 11, 2020
N.J. LEADERS SAY THEY’RE WORRIED ABOUT SUICIDES, MENTAL HEALTH IN CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly said his stay-at-home and business-closing orders are to save as many “blessed souls” as possible from dying of the coronavirus in New Jersey. But state officials say they’re also concerned about residents’ mental health — including possible suicides — as the state remains under near-lockdown and sees a rising wave of unemployment.
MENTAL HEALTHCARE AND SUBSTANCE USE TREATMENT PROVIDERS NEED SUPPORT DURING AND BEYOND PANDEMIC TO CONTINUE SERVING VULNERABLE NEW JERSEYANS
While the demand for mental healthcare services – as well as for treatment of substance use disorders (SUD), which commonly co-occur with mental illnesses – continues to increase during the coronavirus crisis, providers of these critical services are facing even greater challenges than they have been contending with for years prior to the pandemic. Providers need significant increases in funding and regulatory flexibility in order to continue serving New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents of all ages.
DOHERTY RAISES AWARENESS OF VETERANS’ MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS DURING COVID CRISIS
Senator Michael Doherty is working to raise awareness of veterans’ suicide during Mental Health Awareness Month. This unprecedented crisis is a stressor for vulnerable veterans with mental health issues. COVID has the potential to worsen their overall health and put them at higher risk for suicide and other adverse outcomes, as well as for veterans who have no previous history of mental illness.
PEOPLE LIVING IN RURAL NJ ARE STRUGGLING TO GET ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE
According to the Rural Health Information Hub, the fact that suicide rates are higher in rural areas is definitely cause for concern. For folks living in rural communities, the vast amount of space combined with smaller concentrations of people can make finding a mental health specialist challenging. The smaller population in rural areas — and often the stigma against seeking help — does not produce a demand for mental health specialists, placing these communities at a disadvantage.
WHAT AGENCIES ARE DOING TO SUPPORT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF THEIR EMPLOYEES
Brands have begun to take notice of Covid-19’s mental health stressors. Facebook rolled out Quiet Mode to encourage users to set boundaries on the social media platform, while Verizon Media launched wellbeing hub Yahoo Life. Even the World Health Organization turned to a CGI influencer to share advice on issues such as loneliness.