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Prioritize your mental health during a pandemic

by: Jenifer Abreu | Posted: Mar 23, 2020 / 08:37 PM CDT / Updated: Mar 23, 2020 / 08:37 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Today it seems we are all paying extra attention to our physical health, but it’s also important to keep in mind our mental health.

In times like these, where everyday something is changing, and our daily routines are constantly being adjusted, uncertainty can cause some stress and anxiety. And it can be worse for someone who already has an underlying condition like anxiety or depression.

Dr. Alok Jain, psychiatrist and medical director at Eustasis Psychiatric and Addiction Health in Springfield, and Breanna Jain, the CEO there, talk about ways to get through this situation and keeping mental health priority.

Springfield mental health clinic offering walk-in patient help for anxiety

By Joe Hickman | Posted: Mon 5:40 PM, Mar 23, 2020 | Updated: Mon 5:46 PM, Mar 23, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Who knew two weeks ago that toilet paper would become such a hot commodity or that you’d wonder when-or-if you’ll ever get to sit inside a restaurant or bar again.

Yes, our world is being turned upside down right now with so much to deal with that it’s incomprehensible to fathom all the ways our lives have suddenly changed and whether it’s changed forever.

And all this because of a virus with a name we used to associate with beer.

It’s under these high-anxiety circumstances that the Eustasis Psychiatric and Addiction Health Clinic on the Medical Mile in south Springfield is offering a walk-in same-day service for those dealing with the mental health side of the pandemic.

“This is a time that it’s O.K. to be a little more nervous or anxious,” said Dr. Breanna Jain, a co-owner of Eustasis along with her husband Dr. Alok Jain. “We are seeing patients who have never struggled with delusional disorders or paranoia all of sudden developing extreme symptoms of that. Fear of contamination, sleep problems.”

“You are likely to see high blood pressure, increased heart rate. You will see a lot of symptoms of anxiety,” Dr. Alok Jain added. “It’s like fight-or- flight.”

If you think about it the coronavirus crisis checks every box in what causes our stress including the health of you and your family, your financial stability and the loss of social interaction.

So the most common questions that are asked by patients coming to the clinic?

“People are very concerned about how their children are going to respond,” Breanna said. “They feel helpless as to how they’re going to help elderly loved ones. They normally could rely on their faith but now they’re not able to attend services and have that level of community that we would see in other kinds of disasters where people can come together.”

Part of your anxiety comes from certain parts of your brain becoming overactive.

So how can you change that?

“Regular exercise,” Alok said. “The more physical activity you are doing the more you’re helping.”

“Don’t be locked into a screen all the time,” added Breanna. “Find other things to do. Take on new hobbies.”

And just as worrying too much is a problem, so is the attitude of thinking this is all one big hoax.

“If we have people who are not taking this seriously they’re going to prolong this,” Breanna said. “They’re going to go out and contaminate others. It’s time to take it seriously whether you believe it or not.”

The clinic is open from Monday-Saturday and has in-person or telemedicine services available. You can call 417-322-6622 or go to

“It may not be an obvious natural disaster but it has similar implications for human suffering,” Alok said.

substance abuse and mental health association
American academy of child and adolescent psychiatry
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: