Pandemic mental health concerns: Unmasking not easy for everyone

As the country opens back up after the pandemic, the transition can be one filled with anxiety for some. 

"The challenge people are having is to switch over again and think in terms of coming back to work -- I’m going back to school and going back into social settings," said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America. 

Gionfriddo said while many people are getting vaccinated, just as many are not – and the thought of re-assimilation, even traveling is compounding some issues. 

"People are struggling with that," Gionfriddo said.

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo

Gionfriddo said many people have struggled over the course of the past year dealing with job loss, sickness, and even death. Some do not realize the effects.

"Close to one out of every two people in the past year has had a diagnosable mental health condition most commonly anxiety and depression," Gionfriddo said.

Gionfriddo shared "Tools 2 Thrive."

"The first thing we need to do is recognize that reality has changed, accept the changes that have occurred and then give ourselves the freedom and opportunity. and be patient with ourselves to move forward and to absorb these shocks," Gionfriddo said.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

Gionfriddo said avoid trying to bury feelings below the surface because one trauma can build on another.

"Recognize we are not alone. Everybody is facing the same thing. So we can move forward without the stigma associated traditionally with asking for help around mental health and I think we’re going to have a very hopeful future," Gionfriddo said.