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UNMC focuses on mental health as coronavirus quarantines continue

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    Omaha, NE (KPTM ) — 13 people are now stuck in quarantine at UNMC and some are now being treated for coronavirus.

The stress of being cut off from human contact can have an effect on both patients and the doctors treating them.

Quarantine is a stressful situation for everyone involved.

Patients can’t leave.

They can’t do most things you use to do.

Naturally, they worry about the virus they have.

“Other sources of stress include being unable to work. There may be financial difficulties for some people in terms of loss of income and difficulty paying bills,” says Dr. David Cates, director of behavioral health at Nebraska Medicine and vice-chair of clinical operations in the department of psychiatry at UNMC.

For those in quarantine, it’s about staying busy.

The patients even have access to the internet.

“Ensure people have a range of activities to encourage them to have contact with their outside social supports. To work with them to find out what hobbies and social interests they have,” says Dr. Cates.

The doctors treating them worry too.

Dr. Cates says even though they’re always covered, they still worry about getting the virus themselves.

Cates says, “We actually work with them all the time throughout the year on wellness and resilience activities, so I actually meet with all those folks every two months or so. We have a different topic each month and we talk about various aspects of wellness. We teach relaxation exercises. We talk about healthy thinking.”

If you’re worried about catching the coronavirus, Dr. Cates says it’s important to make sure you’re reading up on the facts.

“For many people, this is kind of like a regular virus, a regular cold that you would get. Not even necessarily as severe as the flu so it’s just keeping those things in mind rather than letting their imaginations run wild,” he says.

Dr. Cates says another cause of stress for UNMC employees is the pressure to succeed in helping the patients get through the virus.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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