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Returning to normal life presents challenges for people with mental health concerns

While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress, mental health issues, and substance use, it has helped those who struggle with anxiety and many routine social interactions.

A recent study by the American Psychological Association reported that 7 percent of people felt less stress since the pandemic’s beginning. In addition, another study by European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry discovered that nearly 20 percent of Canadian children aged 6 to 18 had improved mental health during the pandemic.

For people with conditions such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or learning disorders, staying home meant an escape from many stressors. Now, with the country reopening, a return to normal means a return to uncomfortable situations.

“Ironically, while many of us have battled isolation over the past year, many others have enjoyed the break from so many interactions,” said Rosecrance Jackson Centers Vice President of Clinical Services Brenda Iliff. “We want to acknowledge that we may see an increase for some anxiety or agoraphobia as people got back to what for them were stressors. For others, they will thrive as they readjust to interactions they have longed for. None of us have done this before. There is no ‘right’ way, and we can help each other as we navigate these new waters post-pandemic.”