Utica, N.Y. - May is Mental Health Awareness Month and what better way to start it than talking about what people are going through during this pandemic.
On Sunday, we spoke with Elizabeth Sleck, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Director of the Door Counseling Center in Yorkville.
Sleck says she often speaks with her clients these days about how they are dealing with this stay at home order and she says it staying at home so much has taken its toll on many people, although she says some people are loving it, "People are different, some people don't mind being alone. In fact they kind of like it. Working from home for them is really a pleasure and I have lots of clients that are doing this."
On the other hand, Sleck says there are many more people who are having some big issues at home, especially amongst couples, "Well unfortunately we see a rise in things like domestic abuse, and there's more drinking."
When it comes to couples, Sleck says many husbands and wives have always wanted to work from home, and now they are forced to, together, and that means a lot more time together, "Yes you get married, you're married for good, but you really aren't married for 24/7." But they are now in many cases spending pretty much 24 hours seven days a week, together.
Sleck says it's important to take some alone time, "I would say you've got to take care of yourself. Do you need to be alone, then do it. Just say I think I need to spend a couple hours, I'm going to take a two hour bubble bath and don't talk to me, and maybe the man has a man cave or something. And now we can go out. And I hope everyone is going out into the sun because it's very good for you."
During this pandemic, Sleck says depression is a big issue. She says it's important to talk to your partner about how you are feeling, don't keep things inside, and she says if you are at home alone during his pandemic and feeling down, ask yourself this question, "Should I call somebody now because I'm depressed? Yes I should! And they say well, I don't want to call them and burden them, but hey, if somebody's your friend and they love you, they want to talk to you. Call them up."
Sleck says if you don't have a loved one to call, reach out for professional help, as there are a number of local agencies that can help, including MCAT, The Mobile Crisis Assessment Team in Utica. Their number is (315) 732-6228.