Ask the Experts: Mental and Behavioral Health During COVID-19

On June 22, 2020 the Center for Social and Behavioral Science hosted an Ask the Experts: Mental and behavioral health during COVID-19 webinar in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute. In this webinar, our faculty experts discussed managing mental health and close relationships during COVID-19. The experts also focused on managing work-life-balance, coping with grief, and navigating the concurrent trauma resulting from systematic racism during these challenging times.

Our conversation was positively received by those who attended. As one viewer mentioned:

“I went out and bought a journal as soon as I was done with work. The discussion left me feeling empowered and encouraged me to be kinder towards myself. Hard topics were addressed and handled in a manner where I felt hope for humankind.”

To access the video recording, please click on the video image below. You can find a list of all the questions that we covered in the conversation along with the corresponding point of discussion in the video.

            Click the play icon to view video recording.

[1:50] Panelist Introductions

[6:21] The balance of work and life is always of challenge, and now it is more of a challenge than ever. How can we stay motivated and productive during this time?

[16:01] What practices can we (and especially those with pre-existing mental-health conditions) implement at home to improve our mental health?

[22:14] Current circumstances can have a significant impact on anxiety, stress levels, and induce mental health concerns. When should we seek professional help?

[28:21] How can we help our family and friends and colleagues cope with mental health during this time, especially when we can’t be face to face?

[34:02] What suggestions can you give for individuals or families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic?

[38:08] Do you have any tips for instructors returning to their classrooms in Fall, as well as and others working directly with UIUC students?

[42:05] How do we address the trauma associated with the higher COVID-19 numbers in the Black population at a time when systematic racism and police brutality are in the national spotlight?

[52:24] What are some tips for managing healthy relationships during this time? How can we maintain social support with friends who don’t take COVID-19 as seriously as we do?

Ask the Experts: Mental and behavioral health during COVID-19 is part of an ongoing series, Understanding Contemporary Challenges, where we dissect modern societal challenges in the time of COVID-19. Details on future webinar sessions will be shared shortly.