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Continuing Pandemic Highlights Importance Of Mental Health Awareness Month

Brian Bull

As the pandemic stretches into yet another week, health officials are reminding people that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, advice on keeping encouraged during the pandemic opened today’s  daily briefing by Lane County Public Health.

Across the globe, people are coping with isolation, the disruption of routine, lack of contact with friends and family, grief, and of course, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Credit Lane County Public Health livestream
Lane County Public Health livestream
Roger Brubaker, during a livestreamed pandemic briefing for Lane County.

Roger Brubaker is Lane County’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Coordinator. He listed signs of mental health distress at the briefing.

“Increasing substance use. A sense of hopelessness or a feeling like there’s no way out. A sense of extreme anxiety, agitation, or extreme mood swings. Withdrawing from loved ones.  Or expressing a desire to die by suicide.”

Brubaker encouraged people to check on themselves and others, and not be afraid to reach out for help. He says while one may feel unqualified or unprepared for such interactions, just making the effort can give great relief to those suffering from distress.

Lane County has a websitewhich lists resources residents can use for crisis counseling, support services, and bereavement support.  You can access it here.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.