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Remaining Calm in Volatile Times

  • December 15, 2020
  • President Blog

Last month, faced with an unprecedented amount of social unrest in the lead-up to this year’s election, APA issued a statement calling for calm. As we continue to hear about the threats on individual lives and see the violence in the lead up to the January presidential inauguration, I reiterate that call.

As psychiatrists, we know this climate is impacting our patients and the mental health of all Americans. Due to the pandemic and the social injustice, we have already seen heightened levels of anxiety, substance use and depression this year.

This is a particularly difficult time for marginalized communities, who before the pandemic and during this moment of political instability were already dealing with inequities that have profound impacts on their lives. Violence directed at minority and underrepresented communities can further intensify the trauma they have already faced.

If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or distress, please, talk with your family and friends about it. If your feelings continue and it is impacting your daily life, do not hesitate to seek help: either through your primary care provider, a psychiatrist or other mental health professional, or other resources in your community. But know: you are not alone and help is available.

By Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H.,
APA President

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