Beshear advocates for mental health funding amid coronavirus outbreak

‘Our lives are going to be different,' governor says

Beshear advocates for mental health funding amid coronavirus outbreak
Before Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the spread of COVID-19 Thursday afternoon, he took some time to show his support for groups backing mental health. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Before Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the spread of COVID-19 Thursday afternoon, he took some time to show his support for groups backing mental health.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness day of advocacy was planned inside the rotunda of the Capitol building in Frankfort, just hours before the latest update from the governor.

"Our lives are going to be different in the coming months,” Beshear said.

Beshear said Kentuckians will have a lot to deal with as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread. It’s what’s on the mind of so many.

Beshear and his cabinet have warned the public in recent weeks about the physical safeguards against this novel coronavirus, but it could also play a role in mental health. Mental health professionals say it’s enough to add another layer of anxiety to an already anxious person.

At an advocacy day for the National Alliance for Mental Illness at the Capitol, the group says it’s all part of what they deal with.

“We have support groups," NAMI Kentucky Executive Director Melony Cunningham said. "We deal with anxiety, not just with the coronavirus. We deal with this every day, along with a lot of other mental health issues and concerns, so we have 27 affiliates across the state, and we talk about this on Facebook. We have constant contact.”

Cunningham said a good way to relieve mental stress is to follow physical safeguards like washing hands to avoid contracting the virus, thereby lessening concern.

Beshear said he would like to continue to see bills passed that fund healthcare for mental health, as in expanded Medicaid and Medicare.

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