FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – With the CDC’s recommendations, many people are staying home and not interacting with others. While this is to help curb the spread of COVID-19, it can hurt mental health.

There’s a good chance you’ve been in front of a computer often, or on your phone seeing coronavirus news. Jessica Ryan with Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana says it might be time to take a break.

She says all of the changes happening and constant news coming through, it could be triggering for someone that has been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Ryan says those changes can increase stress and anxiety. Social distancing can also lead to social isolation.

Her best advice is to re-establish a routine. That includes making sure kids at home have a schedule, too.

“We’re all kind of facing those first times, working from home, trying to balance if you have children, balancing that school and their schedules, as well. But establishing that routine, so getting up in the morning at the same time. Kind of following that same routine that you would normally follow in the morning, going to bed at the same time,” says Ryan, a community educator and advocate for MHANI.

Ryan also suggests expressing gratitude toward others, and writing down what you’re thankful to help cope. Plus, you can utilize technology in a positive way.

“Seeking opportunities to connect. So, you know, we’re really limited in our in-person connection right now. But we have opportunities through the internet, through the phone, to others, to family members. So, making opportunities to do that. So, setting a virtual coffee date, or setting up a way that your kids can connect with their friends at school is a great way to kind of counter that feeling of being socially isolated, and connecting with others outside of your home,” says Ryan.

Ryan also suggests if have a diagnosed mental illness to continue to seek treatment as you did before, to your best ability.

MHANI is also providing community support during the pandemic:

“In response to local, state and federal health guidelines, MHANI offices are closed to the public until further notice. The safety of clients, families, and the community as a whole remains top priority.

Meanwhile, staff members working remotely are currently adapting support services to an online platform. These will be available at no cost to the general public. For an up-to-date list of these events, please visit the MHANI website at”