As we enter the second month of social distancing and quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people can start to feel isolated and disconnected from those they love. Elderly family members and neighbors can feel lonely, especially without any social contact during this crisis. Those who live alone may go days without seeing the face of another person, or without someone checking on them to make sure they are alright.
On Thursday, April 2nd, Legislator Laura Schaefer joined with the members of the Nassau County Legislature Health Committee and Jeffrey Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer of Family and Children’s Association to announce the start of a “Take Five” Campaign for Mental Health in Nassau to combat this social isolation.
The Take Five Campaign, developed by the New York State Association of Counties, emphasizes the benefits of social contact via phone or skype or some sort of personal contact. The Take Five of the title refers to taking five minutes out of your day to call on a loved one, a friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance to check on them and see if they need anything and tell them they are not alone during these unique times.
While we need to remain at least six feet away when seeing another person face to face, the Take Five campaign suggests the use of the telephone, or video chatting tools that can simulate an in-person chat. These types of outreach are essential to keep everyone in good mental health.
“During this time of extended social distancing and quarantine, many can feel disconnected from society and those they love,” Legislator Rose Marie Walker, Chairwoman of the Health Committee, said. “Many people live alone and can go days without speaking to other people. Please, check up on your family and neighbors. Speak to your friends. Call people on the phone. Human contact is essential to make sure we stay in good spirits and sane during this pandemic. Take five minutes out of your day for your mental health and the mental health of the ones you love.”
“Being isolated for a long time can cause some people to start to get stir crazy,” Legislator Bill Gaylor said. “It is essential in these trying times to make sure others are handling this ok, especially those that live alone and senior our citizens. Please, take five minutes and reach out to your neighbors, friends and family, so we can all take on this outbreak together.”