World Mental Health Day takes on new urgency during pandemic

For Clay Today
Posted 10/7/20

ORANGE PARK – Orange Park Medical Center is looking to reach out to the community on World Mental Health Day on Saturday, to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic find ways to cope …

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World Mental Health Day takes on new urgency during pandemic

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Orange Park Medical Center is looking to reach out to the community on World Mental Health Day on Saturday, to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic find ways to cope and heal.  

The very strategies set in place to help keep us physically healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic have had an adverse impact on national mental health and suicide risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during late June 40% of adults in the United States reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse.

And it’s not just adults affected.  “We’re seeing more and more children and adolescents bearing the burden of increased stress and the continued impact of this virus,” said Dr. Ubaid Khokhar, a Psychiatrist and the Associate Program Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program at Orange Park Medical Center.  “It’s clear there is a high mental health price we’re all paying due to the virus but for those who suffer from depression, substance abuse, or mental and neurological conditions the cost is even higher.”

Orange Park Medical Center’s parent company HCA Healthcare has a deep-rooted history of providing mental health education to our communities, partnering with The Jason Foundation, Inc. in the vital effort to end youth suicide. A national affiliate for JFI, HCA Healthcare supports training in hospitals, off-campus provider-based emergency departments, facilities, physician practices and urgent care locations across the U.S.

Locally, Orange Park Medical Center’s inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care teams, as well as their Psychiatry Residents, work hard year-round to promote awareness of mental health issues and suicide to decrease the stigma and provide guidance for those in need right here in our community. This year, the team is supporting a virtual walk organized by National Alliance on Mental Health Illness to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of various mental health issues.

For assistance, the Orange Park Medical Center behavioral health team can be reached at (904) 390-6800.

“We’re urgently working on ways to lessen the impact of the pandemic on mental health and strengthening our commitment to developing and implementing programs for our colleagues, our patients and our communities,” added Dr. Khokhar.  Or you can find help at the resources listed below.

People considering suicide can reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘HELLO’ to 741741. They will be connected with a person who will listen to their concerns without judgment. They can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish.

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