New Normal: Psychiatrist explains how the pandemic negatively impacts mental health and how to cope

While many businesses are reopening across the tri-state, many people still need help coping with the uncertainty the pandemic has caused.
Yale researchers are examining how the pandemic is affecting our brains, specifically the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is involved in decision making, impulse control and emotional regulation.
As part of this research, they found the pandemic is exacerbating existing stressors for 44 million to 66 million disadvantaged Americans, including financial insecurity and systemic racism, which impairs prefrontal cortical performance.
News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Dr. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University, to answer your questions about how the pandemic has impacted mental health.
Dr. Gold says anxiety has an evolutionary purpose to help people get away from threats. She says the pandemic has been a prolonged threat, and that's why so many people feel heightened stress and exhaustion.
How are people affected in different ways by similar stressful circumstances?
How can teachers get mental health help so they are able to help their students?
How has the pandemic strained relationships and our sense of community?
For resources, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be called at 1-800-273-8255, or you can go online.
You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration by calling 1-800-662-4357, or visiting their website.