Pandemic Within a Pandemic


Readers,

February is here already. Yikes! Can we talk about mental health for a bit? Almost two years into the pandemic, we know someone who either contracted the disease, or died from it. Another troubling trend, is the urgent need for mental health support. Millions are now coping with increased anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PTSD, insomnia, stress eating, loneliness, paranoia..etc. I believe we are in the middle of a pandemic within a pandemic. Sadly, some saw no way out, and took their own lives. The past two years have been TOUGH. 

A few days ago here in NYC, media outlets broke news which quickly spread; Miss USA 2019, Chelsie Krist jumped to her death. She made history, part of a trio of black beauty pageant winners, who for the first time, held the titles of Ms USA, Teen USA, and America. Just about every comment echoed the same sentiments “ No one saw this coming. She looked like she had it all. A Lawyer who fought for reform, mental health advocate, and successful television personality, heartbreaking”.

The thing is, we need to stop judging others on appearances. That strong friend who never complains, constantly smiling, appears happy is most likely the one silently asking us to check in on them. My blog’s content calendar was planned before this tragic news broke. You can expect the next few months to be all things mental health. 

Most of my clients are anxious about the future. Best laid plans have been shattered. I have bouts of anxiety too. To help them, I’ve had to quickly shift and pivot. I cannot pour from an empty cup. What issue in your life has been amplified because of COVID? I can only imagine your list has gotten longer. We may not know each other personally, but I understand where we are. Over the next few months, when you visit this page, you can expect to find mental health related posts, hoping to be a source of light as we work our way through uncertainty. 

A bit about my background. I have spent the past 5+ years working with the homeless and formerly homeless, on the grimy streets of NYC. My clients struggle with persistent mental health disorders, some have a history of suicide attempts, drug addictions, in patient psychiatric hospitalizations, etc. The job is not easy. In 2011, I graduated from the University of Essex UK, with an MSc in Psychology. Barry University in Florida, provided the background with a BSc in the same field.

I am also a Reiki Master. I continue to  actively seek out other mental health related certifications. When I lived in Miami, I worked in the medical field for about six years. I won’t always get things right. The upcoming posts  are not meant to treat or diagnose from behind a computer screen, simply to share my knowledge, experience, and guidance.  Always follow the advice of your medical and mental health providers.

We will begin with anxiety. Hope to see you soon.

To Your Success,
Juan

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