Honolulu (KHON2) – 1-in-5 people suffer from a mental illness according to the National Alliance for Mentally Ill. That’s why the Kalihi-Palama Health Center is speaking out about behavioral health.

Some other statistics? 1-in-20 experience serious mental illness while 1-in-6 youth aged six to seventeen years old experience mental illness.   

“At our health clinic, we have seen an increase in overall stressors in ourselves as staff and the community we serve,”  says Darrin Sato, Chief Operating Officer. “We have seen an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. Many people come in complaining of headaches or gastrointestinal pain. They also complain of difficulties sleeping, concentrating, feelings of hopelessness, anger, worry and loneliness. At work we can feel a sense of guilt over not performing, difficulty concentrating, concern over catching the virus at work, needing to take care of family members, for children/teens breaks from school online schooling, not seeing friends, missing milestone events, not seeing their friends not being able to go out. If these symptoms get in the way of your daily life affecting work, school and personal relationships you will want to seek professional help.”  

According to the CDC  31% of the US population has suffered from Anxiety/Depression symptoms, 26% from Trauma/Stressor symptoms, 13% increase in substance use and 11% seriously considered suicide. These numbers are almost double of what they were before the pandemic. Having to isolate, being away from work/school, away from friends/family, and the feeling of being confined has attributed to these symptoms.

What can we do?

• Seek out support communicate what you are going through with family, friends, or trusted colleagues. 

• Gain control by having a structured schedule.  

• Stay away from news regarding COVID if possible.  

• Practice mindfulness/relaxations.

• Carve out time for self-care.

• Exercise, eat healthy, and sleep.

• Go to your preventive health visits.

If your symptoms persist or you feel there is no solution, call your primary care doctor and they can assist you in receiving mental health care. Kalihi-Palama Health Center provides treatment with talk therapy individual and group and medications when needed to help control a person’s symptoms.    

Website: http://www.kphc.org/