Navigating mental health in the age of COVID-19
14:57

Navigating mental health in the age of COVID-19

Culture
As the pandemic and societal change play out across the country and on social media, mental health has moved to the fore front of the conversation. For years mental health has been stigmatized and forgotten. But with this new generation of young people who have grown up with the ability to share their own stories online, we're starting to see a shift towards a new view of Healthcare and mental health care is part of that. So now what? Joining me today is Lily Cornell silver, an outspoken advocate for young people on mental health awareness and host of the weekly show mind wide open on igtv. Thank you very much for joining us and how you doing today? I'm doing pretty well. Thank you so much for having me enjoying the sun, which always makes me feel a little bit better. [LAUGH] Yes, the sun definitely helps. Tell us about your weekly show MIND WIDE OPEN on IGTV. Tell us how it came about. And how did you get into it? Sure. I think it was kind of the perfect storm of circumstances. Obviously, we were in quarantine, everyone was struggling. Whether or not they were cognizant of it. I think everyone is experiencing some form of low level depression, anxiety, just as a blanket thing throughout the globe honesty. And I was quarantining, had to leave school. And was on and was just really struggling with my own mental health and struggling to find resources beyond. You know, like my therapist psychiatrists I was looking for a group or some sort of online presence where people are like, yeah, we are all really struggling with mental health right now. And I think because this is such an unprecedented circumstance with the pandemic, and then obviously, as time went on, surfacing of structural supremacy, like Things just got very, very chaotic. But I was just I was struggling to find, find resources and find people who, who were saying, Listen, it's going to be okay. And here's how we need to cope right now. So I wanted to create that That platform for myself and especially for others. So how did you find HGTV as a platform? Why did you choose that? I had seen in in throughout quarantine people like Miley Cyrus using it really effectively. And as much as I want this show to be for everybody because. Mental Health is something that literally everybody struggles with. But I think especially people in my generation is who I want the tilt to be towards. So I think igtv has that has that tilt and Instagram has that tilt towards the younger generation. So I know you're talking to a lot of people, you're reaching out to a lot of young people. What are you hearing from the young people like what sort of challenges are they trying to overcome right now? Right. I was literally I was talking to my friends about this yesterday. We don't know anybody who isn't currently struggling with their mental health like any of our peers. Everybody's struggling with anxiety with depression. I have friends with, forms of OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, but I think I think in our generation and in our society right now, younger people are facing such a different relationship with mental health issues because there's so much more overstimulation and so much more information and a different form of chaos than there may have been You know, earlier in history so I think I think everyone is just struggling with that with that sense of overwhelm. Yeah, definitely like misinformation is coming at us. We have we were just talking about the fire season right before this. We're dealing with like smoky neighborhoods we're dealing with pandemic. What sort of advice do you have For young people who are dealing with mental health issues. I mean obviously I'm not a mental health professional. But I just in my experience isolation can be the biggest issue and even if it's something that every you know, so many people have experienced, like. Mental Health are like grief and loss. Everyone experiences that at some point, but it can still feel so isolating. And sometimes the hardest thing can be to reach out and ask for help or try to rely on somebody if you don't know if they're going to be able to support you in the way that you need. So just in my experience, it's just been trying as hard as you possibly can to not isolate yourself and to reach out and to start those hard conversations. Because odds are you'll you'll be a lot more heard and validated than you may think. So let's say that, There's a lot of people who are afraid to discuss this. They're like feel ashamed or something. Do you have any advice for friends and loved ones to be able to spot someone who might be suffering from a mental breakdown or having some issues? Yeah, absolutely. Here let me I'm gonna look it up really quickly and this is just one campaign. That's really cool. Okay perfect. So the second to last interview I just put out was with Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, and he talks about the campaign to change direction which is a really really powerful campaign aimed towards mental health. And they are spreading awareness about the five signs of noticing if someone is struggling with their mental health, and those five signs are personality change, Agitated, withdrawn poor self care and hopelessness. So those I mean, I think I think that's a very, very strong baseline and obviously it looks different for everybody. But that's it. Yeah, yeah, that's really good to know. Yeah, that's great. Okay, cool. I've noticed on just on Instagram alone, like there's like a shift towards people being pro therapy. Like in the past. If you had to go a therapist, it's like, my god, my mom wants me to go to a therapist, like what am I going to do? There was like always a stigma behind it, but now there's been like a shift where like Going to therapist is healthy like it's almost like a health checkup. Right? So how do you feel about that? That's like everything I could ever dream for. [LAUGH] I really like I am so pro therapy, but I've also had the privilege and opportunity to have access to a therapist my whole life. And so I think Something that I really want to work towards and something that I want to see happen in the mental health field is making therapy as accessible as humanly possible, because how it stands right now access to therapy access to psychiatry is is pretty limited. But I totally agree I've seen just in my lifetime the shift From therapy being pretty stigmatized to people saying no, this is something that you should do and something that would be really helpful. And within different communities are still different levels of stigma. But it's been really helpful to see that kind of shift that you're talking about. Yeah, I see a lot of influencers talking about, you know, therapy is so helpful. It's helped me big time and Haven't gone to therapy, but I've thought about it a lot. You know, I feel like it would be definitely beneficial to me. So, do you have any advice on finding a therapist or just going to therapy in general? Do you have any advice on that? Yeah, I mean, I've been in therapy for a very long time. [LAUGH] And when I was I've been in therapy since I was like, Seven honestly because I've always struggled with anxiety. I've always struggled with forms of depression. And especially when I was younger, it was something that was like, felt really weird to talk about because when you're like eight, nine, you know, you don't want to tell your friend like you're in therapy because, you know what if they think you're crazy, whatever, but I've actually I've gotten a lot of responses to my series on Instagram of people dming near people commenting and saying, like, I really want to go to therapy, but Can't seem to find the right therapist. And in my experience, I've had like sixty seven different therapists and the one I have now is someone I absolutely love. But I think it can be pretty discouraging because going to therapy can be it's very intense and very vulnerable. So if you go to Go to a therapist and you don't necessarily connect with them. It can be very discouraging. So my advice would just be stick with it until you find somebody that that you really connect with. So, I have my things for fighting anxiety and depression and I play golf like that's my thing. Like once a week I go play golf. Yeah, my whole focus is like hitting a ball into a hole from really far away. So right. My mind is quiet, you know, and I'm just by myself with my thoughts, and it's exercise. It's fresh air. It's everything I wanted sunshine. Do you have any simple things people can do to help fight anxiety and depression? I mean, honestly, for me, it's just like it's about finding the things that. That make you want to get out of bed in the morning which can be so much easier said than done. But for me it's always been music, writing music, playing music with friends and family. I box which is super important and the mental health professionals in my life that I've been privileged enough to be raised around and have access to have always said, exercise moving your body is like the hugest thing Self care in terms of like, you know, eating, taking showers, you know, like the very baseline. And I've spoken about this before, but I think there can be a misconception that self care is like go to a hair appointment, you know and like go get a massage but self care is also like. You need to drink water [LAUGH] You need some you need to give yourself nutrients and and life sustaining stuff. But yeah I would just say self care, moving your body and connecting with others as much as humanly possible and combating some of that isolation that you may feel. Cool. So what do you think can be done to ensure that Americans have access to health care cuz right now it feels like everyone's losing their health care. Right. We see like the police as our health care, emergency professionals when someone's having an issue like the police are called not, not a mental health person,. Right. So what can Americans do to make sure that we have health care moving forward. Right. I mean, I'm a huge proponent of reallocating some of the police funds towards community resources. And I think a huge part of that is reallocating those funds towards, towards mental health in the community. And I, and I completely agree with you that I think, I mean, I've seen it in Seattle. There's a huge Drug problem within Seattle and a huge homelessness crisis in Seattle. And I've watched throughout my life, people who are clearly having mental breakdowns or having massive mental health issues, be arrested and be incarcerated. And that literally only makes things worse. So I'm definitely a proponent of reallocating some of those funds towards Mental Health Resources, especially for young people.>> Yeah, I just don't think police should be our mental health professionals In the meaning in it necessarily not trained.>> Yeah. Maybe they could get some sort of training but But still, like that should be their job. [LAUGH] Are there any programs currently that we can access? If you don't have health insurance like and you need to turn to someone? Are there any health programs that we can access now for free, that you might be wanting to share with our audience? Sure. Yeah. On my website, mind wide open project.com I have a list of resources. And that's been something that I've been trying to compile as well as finding especially online resources. Now in the midst of the pandemic, where people can go, I have on my Instagram as well. A bunch of resources for black and brown folks for free therapy that you can do online. Because I think especially marginalized communities are needing therapy right now more than ever. But yeah, I would say my mind open project calm and on my Instagram I'm working on it, [LAUGH] compiling compiling a list of resources and making it as accessible as humanly possible. Cool, that's helpful. That's very helpful. So you've talked a little bit about music and you're big into music. I was doing some research and I found your Radiohead cover, which was awesome. Thank you. [LAUGH] Yeah, super awesome. I love that. Thank you. So what are you doing in the music career? Are you pursuing anything or what? What are you working on right now? I mean right now my focus is definitely mind wide open. But literally my whole life has been about music. You know, it's always been there for me and most of my friends are in music, my whole family's in music. So that's, that's my anchor, you know, that's my grounding thing and that's that's what I look forward to each day like you were saying with golf. You know, that's my, that's my thing that I get to do for myself. And so it's you know, I would love at some point for that to be something that folds into my career but above all, it's it's something that brings me joy and happiness. So whatever that looks like is is what I want it to be. Yeah, so what does that look like now during the quarantine pandemic? Are you like producing and recording stuff out of your house? How are you making it work right now in terms of music I mean, I think the coolest thing about my generation is that we find a way to do pretty much anything. We all have our bedroom studios, we all have our like Ableton or whatever on our computer, and we've been able to. To collaborate with my friends all around the world and record you know and create tracks and so yeah, it's been working with my friends that way. I have a whole live music setup in my garage. So getting to play in there with with friends and family whenever possible. But yeah, I think I honestly think quarantine has been as rough as it's been on. I think everybody's mental health. It's also been time for so much creativity to blossom. Yeah.>> And that's something that I've definitely been seeing within my own circle. Can you talk a little bit more about your igtv show? Yeah, I have My little like webcam. I have I'm working with a production team in Seattle called clowder and din. And I do the interviews over zoom, they record it on there and then they edit it. We go over figure out the content interviews typically lasts like an hour, we'll edit it down to 20 to 30 minutes. But you know, the whole thing about it for me is accessibility and I think social media is, you know, the prime example of making resources as accessible as humanly possible because everyone has access to it, you know, but yeah, I mean that's I think Instagram and igtv is is the perfect platform for that and because it is igtv is a little bit longer form. There is room for that to provide as much information as possible while still, holding people's attention spans. But yeah, I think IGTV is a really powerful platform and I'm excited to see how it's being used.>> You have any plans to expand outside IGTV? Yeah, so the interviews will be up on YouTube within this week. With English and Spanish subtitles, which has been a big recommendation, and then also will end up as a podcast on apple podcasts and Spotify. Fantastic, awesome, cool. Well, I won't take up too much more of your time. I just wanted to say I'm a big fan of your father. I had badmotorfinger in the 90s audio slave Totally Pull the dog. I had it all. Cool I saw him live in LA. So it was an honor to talk to you and he was an amazing artist and forever grateful for his music. Absolutely. Well thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

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