With each daily increase in the death toll from COVID-19 comes an increase in the number of people who have mental health issues exacerbated. University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Psychiatry Kaz Nelson said during a recent webinar offered by the U of M Alumni Association that when mental health concerns cross over into the realm of mental illness, that needs to be treated by a professional provider, even if social distancing makes that very difficult.

“The amazing thing about this at this point in time in society, is a lot of the mental health services, psychiatric care, counseling, has been able to continue with video conferencing,” said Nelson. “Not that everyone has access to video conferencing, but many people have a phone or a laptop and a lot of these services have continued uninterrupted because of this technology.”

Nelson, an Honors graduate of the U of M Morris, said if people don’t have a mental health provider, they should get a referral from their primary care provider. The entire webinar can be accessed online for free at umnalumni.org/nelson.

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