Some fear social distancing may lead to depression, suicide | WREG News Channel 3, Apr. 17, 2020 Mason Interview


Thank you, Alex Coleman for including me in your story on depression during COVID-19 (corona virus) isolation. Miles Mason, Sr. is interviewed by Alex Coleman, WREG News Channel 3 evening news on April 17, 2020.

Video Transcript:

Stress and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 crisis is taking its toll on many Mid-Southerners, and some mental health professionals fear suicide dangers could grow during the pandemic.

“I’m worried during this time of isolation we’re going to see more and more suicides,” said Miles Mason is a prominent Memphis attorney usually handling family law and divorce cases.

These days he’s also focused on mental health issues brought on by COVID-19.

Mason believes stress, anxiety and isolation are almost as dangerous as the virus itself — and for him, this is personal.

“I lost my brother, okay, and I don’t cope well. I’m not going to lie about that. I’m angry. I feel guilty like anyone else would and I’ve lost friends during COVID,” he said.

It’s why he’s speaking out about why social isolation can be dangerous.

“It’s easy to minimize. My message is don’t minimize it. Do the best you can to keep talking and sharing with people you can about and people you trust and the people that you’ll listen to.”

At Lakeside Behavioral Health System in Memphis, they’re getting calls from people seeking mental help.

“We are getting a lot of calls from workers on the front lines. Hospital workers, transportation workers, the phones are definitely ringing,” said Ella-Victoria Robinson, the director of adult patients at lakeside. “We’re seeing people with increase stress and anxiety.”

She says we must find a way to connect.

‘People who are suicidal are very much so feeling this isolation,” Robinson said. “It’s so important and imperative that we remain in contact as much as we can. We encourage the use of technology, social media, video calls.”

It could be a connection that could save a life.

“Keep the person talking,” Mason said. ‘Get them to a qualified mental health professional to discuss these issues. More talking reduces the risk.”

Memphis police say they have not seen an uptick in suicides in Memphis directly related to COVID-19.

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