The Value of Behavioral Health Counseling

The unrelenting stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of behavioral health counseling.

Three months into the stay-at-home, countless people are struggling with anxiety. This anxiety is likely caused by isolation, social distancing, homeschooling, working from home, and unemployment.  When stress compounds over long periods of time, it impacts our ability to rebound.

The effects of this continued strain might start to show up in these ways

  • irritability,
  • poor sleep,
  • lack of appetite,
  • binge eating, and
  • loss of motivation.

These poor coping strategies point to a behavioral health issue. And really, it’s no surprise. Many of us have been under stay-at-home orders for 60 days or more.

Given the value of behavioral health to help people rebound and restore a healthy balance, Highmark Health asked me to refresh an interview from February 2016. In it, writer Trish Imbrogno and I explore the virtues of behavioral health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article:

TI: Why should someone seek help from a behavioral health professional?

JK: When life situations become overwhelming, you may feel like you’re going crazy or are losing the ability to cope with the stress. The COVID-19 pandemic is a situation where many people are feeling overwhelmed and are struggling to cope. Counseling provides a confidential, safe space for you to discuss your situations before the stress and problems build up and require medication or other, more serious, treatment.

If you are able to treat mental or emotional conditions early, you may be able to avoid more intensive therapy down the road. If left untreated, simple life stress can develop into more serious conditions such as anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, addictions, OCD, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and bipolar disorder.

Learn more about the values of behavioral health at Highmark Health.  

Have a child at home with these symptoms? Read my article with Highmark Health, “Tips for Parents: Behavioral Health Support for Kids.”