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In the Time of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, Mental Health Has Never Mattered More

May Is Mental Health Month

Hamilton, NJ- The coronavirus pandemic is exacting a significant toll on everyone from the physical symptoms, anxiety about the risk of contracting the virus, worry about loved ones, job-related stress (in some cases, reduced hours or job loss) and social isolation. In addition to May being Mental Health Month, this is an especially important time to focus on mental health and to ensure access to services. The theme of this year’s Mental Health Month is #Tools2Thrive to highlight what people can do daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency, support others who are struggling with their mental health, and to head towards a path of recovery.

In a study by Qualtrics, two out of five (or 41.6 percent of) respondents said that their mental health has declined since the coronavirus outbreak. Changes of workplace and employment have also impacted people’s mental health. The study further states that unemployed individuals have the highest proportion of mental health declines followed by newly remote working arrangements. The level of anxiety since the COVID-19 pandemic started has risen 57.2 percent and only 6.9 percent have reported that their levels of anxiety have declined.

Now more than ever, it is important for individuals to recognize and accept their emotions, reach out if they need help and connect with others through digital platforms. Additionally, creating healthy routines and supporting other people can positively increase mental wellness. There are organizations located throughout New Jersey that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of various mental illnesses, as well as offer support services. Video gamers and people who primarily gamble online may not experience the same feelings of stress and isolation during this pandemic as they might already be familiar with being confined. However, for a regular at the casino, this feelings of anxiety and isolation could drive some to switch to other forms of gambling said Neva Pryor, Executive Director for The Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ. That is why the Council continues to raise awareness and spread the message of support, treatment, and hope for problem and disordered gamblers and their families.

These services have proven to be highly effective outside of and during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, our treatment providers have been able to continue providing necessary treatment using tele-health to assist the problem gambler in recovery.  In addition, our website, 800gambler.org, has videos, weekly webinars, meetings, therapists, and other information to support the problem/disordered gambler. These aforementioned services incorporate tools for people to thrive during difficult times and encourage them to consider their mental health as much as their physical health.

If coping with Covid-19 is increasing your urgency and need to gamble, at 800-GAMBLER we want to remind you that you are not alone. Our helpline remains available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide support, treatment, and hope to those in need.  Call us today at 800-GAMBLER or visit us at www.800gambler.org.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (Council) is a private non-profit 501(c)3 organization composed of concerned individuals from diverse backgrounds. The group’s primary purpose is to represent the best interest of problem and disordered gamblers and their families, recognizing that problem gambling is a treatable illness. The Council neither opposes nor endorses legalized gambling. However, the Council may take positions on various issues surrounding legalized gambling when the members believe that taking a stand is in the best interest of problem and disordered gamblers and their families.

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