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5 ways to protect your mental health now and during a future crisis

The mental health effects of crisis and disaster can be profound. Photo: Pexels

(Tanya Albert Henry/ American Medical Association) — With the COVID-19 pandemic’s profound impact on mental health, the subject deserves attention early—and often—from individuals and leaders who can help mitigate the havoc wreaked on their own and other people’s well-being, said a psychiatrist who specializes in trauma and disasters.

The pandemic’s psychiatric impact is likely to have a “long tail,” but there are evidence-based interventions that can reduce distress and foster resilience. Capt. Joshua C. Morganstein, MD, deputy director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, discussed these strategies and more during an AMA STEPS Forward® webinar, “Protecting Mental Health in Disasters: COVID-19 and Beyond.”