Three signs you may be struggling with mental health, according to Lynchburg experts

Local experts say 1 in 5 people are in need of help

Local resources where you can seek mental health services

LYNCHBURG, Va. – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and people all around the world are facing difficulties and transitions with the pandemic and inflation.

Local health experts said it’s more important now than ever to help one another, adding mental health is the foundation to overall wellness.

“There is a tremendous amount of stress that goes along with adjusting or changing back to what we thought was normal,” said Dr. Peter Betz with Centra Health. “Which, of course, is the new normal.”

Doctors at Virginia Baptist Health in Lynchburg said they’ve seen a dramatic rise in those being impacted by mental health struggles, across all ages.

Children struggle with development because they have been isolated. Young adults face financial challenges and job insecurity. Elderly grapple with death and the inability to grieve.

“By saying, ‘I need help,’ that takes a lot of courage,” said Dr. Sesha Kotapati with Centra Health. “It’s ok to say, ‘I need help. I don’t feel well.’”

Dr. Kotapati said one in five people struggle with mental health. He added it is important to know the signs and there are three big ones.

The first is a dramatic change in mood - feeling sad mostly all day, every day. The second is starting to devalue oneself as a person. The final is changes in daily habits, the mind is connected to the body.

“There’s no big red flag except for the obvious, which is I want to hurt myself,” said Dr. Betz. “That certainly is something we have to be very vigilant about. There are many subtle signs that are important to pay attention to.”

Centra Health offers many services including therapy, in-patient care and medication that can help. There are several non-profits the hospital works within the Hill City to make sure all have access to the care they need.

For more resources on mental health, click here.

About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.