Coronavirus fears have an impact on mental health

NAMI offers family members an educational program, Family-to-Family (MGN).
NAMI offers family members an educational program, Family-to-Family (MGN).(KWQC)
Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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All the panic and fear surrounding the coronavirus may start to take a toll on your mental health.

"The country as a whole was ill-prepared on so many levels for providing support and care during a very serious situation," said Clinical Social Worker Brian Klaung.

Klaung is looking for an alternative way to continue his practice and fulfill the county's request of staying put.

"We talked to Medicare Monday and our local representative told us we can only bill for face-to-face contact," Klaung said.

Klaung reached out to local politicians for help.

"I'm hoping that legislation will change and teletherapy will become an accepted form of treatment," Klaung said.

Until the laws change Klaung plans to do business as usual, but with precautions.

"We are trying to keep our distance, not engaging in handshakes or hugs," Klaung said.

"Self-quarantine is okay but that doesn't mean isolate,” said Clinical Psychologist Jason Soriano

Soriano says maintaining a normal routine is the best way to avoid becoming depressed or setting off anxiety.

"Even being outside and doing something with your family in small groups, those are ways to feel like an active part of the community," Soriano said.

When panic sets in, Soriano says it's important to remind yourself of the things you can control.

"Washing your hands, staying away from large groups of people and taking care of your family and yourself those are the things that make us feel like we are in control of the situation," Soriano said.

If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms it's advised to reschedule counseling appointments.