As we continue to follow social distancing guidelines, many of us are experiencing new sources of stress and anxiety. As children remain home from school and businesses have shifted to telework or reduced hours, families have had to adjust to our new normal. As these stressors intensify and social distancing continues, mental health is as essential to our overall wellbeing as our physical health.
We cannot ignore the impact these stressors can have on our mental health. They can cause increased anxiety about our physical health, or impact sleeping and eating habits. Some may also consider turning to tobacco, alcohol or other addictive substances to help cope. If you are experiencing any of these issues, there is help available. Finding ways to recognize and address your stress and improve your mental health will benefit you, your family and all of our communities as we weather this crisis.
As Minnesotans experience mental health challenges, our office has compiled a list of resources for those in need of assistance. You can visit our website to access these resources at emmer.house.gov/mental-health-resources.
The CDC also has resources relating to managing stress, coping and taking care of your emotional health at CDC.gov. In addition, Minnesotans across the state have established strong resources to help each other and find ways to improve our mental health. You can find additional help at namimn.org and mentalhealthmn.org. As always, if you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts and need help immediately, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Our mental health is an essential component of who we are as individuals and how we interact with those around us. As we continue to fight COVID-19 together, it is important to prioritize your mental health and seek help when you need it. We are in this together, and we will emerge a stronger nation. In the meantime, take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Tom Emmer represents Minnesota’s Sixth District in the U.S. House.