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New campaign looks to tackle mental health crisis worsened by COVID-19

behind the mask ms
Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health

May is known across America as Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) is encouraging those experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems during the COVID-19 pandemic to seek help.

Through a new campaign called “Behind the Mask,” DMH is encouraging individuals not to hide “behind the mask” but to understand that the pandemic has affected nearly everybody across the state and realize that these issues are not only common but treatable.

“Even before COVID, even before we were talking about wearing masks, people with mental health issues often put on a mask to disguise what’s happening in their lives,” Molly Portera Taylor, DMH Director of Outreach and Training, said during a recent episode of Good Things with Rebecca Turner. “And so, this campaign is really about taking off that figurative mask and not being afraid to reach out for help.”

The campaign’s website offers free screenings, tips, routes to find a provider, as well as testimonials from those Mississippians who sought mental health resources during the pandemic.

According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.

To learn more, visit www.behindthemaskms.com.

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