Tough Times Don't Last

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough
People (And Communities) Do

Westview Behavioral Health Services
Contact: Hugh Gray, (803) 276-5690
*Saluda Behavorial Health is now affiliated with Westview

  The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) may be, and probably is, stressful for most people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Appropriately coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger.
  Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on the experiences you have endured in the past, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. Here are some insights by the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
  Many different population segments of our community may have a greater sense of anxiety and stress during this crisis. These include:
  •Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  •Children and teens
  •People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  •People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
  Signs of stress during this outbreak can include:
  •Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  •Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  •Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  •Worsening of chronic health problems
  •Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with this stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make our community stronger.
  Reduce stress in yourself and others.
  Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. When you share accurate information about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.
  But don’t overdose on watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting, especially when the message is coming from social media “experts” or people who are experiencing heightened anxiety themselves.
  Also, remember to take care of your body and spirit. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy, like making safe connections with others. A telephone call with people you trust about your concerns can help alleviate the stress.
  For Parents
  Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
  Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  •Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  •Excessive worry or sadness
  •Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  •Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  •Difficulty with attention and concentration
  •Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  •Unexplained headaches or body pain
  •Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  There are many things you can do to support your child
  •Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts  about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  •Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  •Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  •Try to keep up with regular routines. With schools closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  •Be a role model.  Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Make safe connections with your friends and family members.
  For Responders
  Responding to COVID-19 can take an emotional toll on you. There are things you can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions:
  •Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
  •Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
  •Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
  •Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  •Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
  •Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.
  We are strong and we shall overcome.

Educator Bill
Whitfield Dies

William (Bill) A. Whitfield, who devoted over 50 years to education in Saluda County, died Fri., Mar. 27, losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
  Whitfield came to Saluda High School in the mid-60s as the agriculture teacher. In that capacity, he because the advisor of the Young Farmers organization. Under his leadership, the Young Farmers started the Truck and Tractor Pull, which has given thousands of dollars in scholarships to Saluda County students seeking a college degrees in agriculture related majors.
  After teaching agriculture for 16 years, he was promoted to Saluda High School principal, where he served another 16 years.
  In his retirement, he continued to support education, serving as Saluda County’s representative on the Piedmont Technical College Board of Commissioners for  over 20 years. He was instrumental in getting the Saluda County Piedmont Tech satellite campus built.
  See the complete obituary  in the print edition of this week’s newspaper.