• Thu. May 19th, 2022

Rochester COVID support group helping people cope

ByJulie J. Helfer

Feb 8, 2022

ROCHESTER, NY – The twists and turns of the pandemic have created increased demand for mental health services. A local support group helps fill this need.

“I’ve had cabin fever at times,” said Jenny, a member of the COVID support group. “Feelings of loneliness because I love the camaraderie of being able to socialize with my friends.”

These are feelings many people have had during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s had an impact on my social life and it’s also had an impact, just that I’m being careful, more, more fearful in my surroundings, or because even though I wear that mask faithfully, that doesn’t mean everyone everyone does,” Jenny said.

This prompted Jenny to find help in the form of a weekly virtual COVID support group offered by the Mental Health Association of Rochester. She never had COVID-19, but the pandemic has definitely affected her.

“It’s a test,” she said. “I’m used to going out, doing things – movies, going out to eat, plays and all that – and that’s something I’ve moved away from.”

“It’s been a journey for everyone,” said Chanteria Gadson, MHA’s director of social services. “And so people who are already struggling with their own journey, it’s even more impactful.”

Everyone’s support is important. For those struggling with their mental health, this is essential.

“It can be daunting, it can be frustrating, but it’s also a time to really be able to think about ‘hey, where do I see my growth going?’ “said Gadson.

The COVID support group is open to everyone, although people must pre-register. Jenny says she found solace there and more.

“Friendship,” Jenny said. “The friendship and also the feeling that I’m not alone in some of the issues that I’m facing.

“It’s like a COVID family.”

To learn more about how you can join MHA’s COVID Support Group, click here.