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Cuomo asks psychologists, therapists to help with coronavirus response

'Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and we are very much in uncertain times,' said Brian Braun, the director of social work at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — We know the COVID-19 outbreak is a physical health crisis, but for some people, it's turning into a mental health crisis as well.

“Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and we are very much in uncertain times," said Brian Braun, the Director of Social Work at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He added, “Call it out in your head, ‘I’m anxious. I’m feeling fearful.’ That’s the first step in getting a hold of this discomfort, knowing and identifying how you feel.”

Braun told 2 on Your Side there are things you can do to feel better, such as maintaining discipline in your routine.

“Whether it’s through exercise, reading, whatever it is that you enjoy that brings you a release of stress, continue to do those things at home. Schedule them if you have to,” he said.

Braun added we feel our best when we're kind and patient toward others.

“In Buffalo, we have a strong tradition of being there for each other. Now again is the time for us to check on each other and help out each other, particularly those in need who are looking at reduced paychecks or no paychecks at all," Braun said. 

This is an issue Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking seriously.

He's asking psychologists and therapists to pitch in and volunteer their services to help with the state's coronavirus response.

“If we get enough mental health professionals wanting to volunteer their time then we’ll set up a mental health electronic help center," he said. 

Braun said whatever you're feeling, you don't have to deal with it alone. 

“If you find it’s impacting your appetite, your ability to sleep, your ability to focus, your ability to interact with others, that’s when it’s time to call in professionals to assist you. That’s what we’re there for,” Braun said.

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