Safety Harbor psychologist on combating anxiety, depression during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – Dr. Melissa Bailey is a licensed clinical psychologist in Safety Harbor, who admits, even she has experienced the pandemic pressure.

“With my own kids at home, with special needs, I get home and they want attention,” said Dr. Bailey. “And they of course are having issues, sometimes they’re having meltdowns.”


WHAT TO KNOW:

  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

She’s been working since the COVID-19 situation began, answering e-mails from patients, seeing them in person and taking phone calls.

“My first phone call on Monday, last week, was a suicidal patient who I hadn’t seen in several months,” said Dr. Bailey. “So I mean those are some of the calls I’m getting.”

At the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, most call takers are working remotely, but CEO Clara Reynolds saID the calls are rolling in on a regular basis.

“Not only has our call volume gone up…. but the amount of time per call has gone up as well,” said Reynolds. “So we’ve experienced wait times, we’ve had to put in different cue systems in place. We’re now offering an opportunity for us to call people back.”

Dr. Bailey believes the lack of routine is the reason for much of the anxiety and depression. People are working from home or have lost their jobs, kids aren’t in school, and gyms, restaurants and other recreational locations have remained closed.

She says developing a daily, even a weekly routine can be the key in saving one’s sanity.

“As much as we think we are spontaneous people, as human beings we like structure,” said Dr. Bailey. “We like routine and it’s a good idea to have a time to wake up, trying to eat your meals at the same time, make sure you get out and exercise. “

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