NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this pandemic has upended our routines.
It can also trigger more serious maladies of the mind. The remedy may be talking it through, or listening to others.
Much of our national conversation now occurs at a “social distance” as we “self quarantine.”
Those terms we associate with COVID-19 conjure up images of loneliness and isolation. Elena Schexnider leads online groups for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and sees more people with a need for human contact.
“Every week we get more and more people, and it’s been an amazing process, and letting people know that there is support out there.”
Schexnider is talking to more people who feel isolation and loneliness. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues, she knows human connection can transcend physical limitations. Sometimes people join these meetings just to listen.
“Sometimes it’s helpful just to be there to sit there and just listen non judgmentally and let other people know that sometimes you don’t have to fix things, a lot of things aren’t fixable quote, unquote, and just be an active presence there is really powerful.”
You can sign up for these meetings here if you need someone to talk to, or if you just want to listen.