Pandemic impacting mental health

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Spring has sprung! The sunshine is helping to boost people’s moods, especially those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.

“This is a major issue, and it’s basically a cyclical episode of really becoming depressed and down and out and anxious, on a regular basis,” explained Dr. Jim Saperstone.

According to doctors, SAD is most common in people who live further north of the equator right before winter starts.

“It’s a true condition,” stated Robin Tassinari, an Albany Medical Center Psychiatrist. “The mild form is called winter blues—probably 10%of the population. But Seasonal Affective Disorder—we are talking about maybe 15 million people in the United States.”

While things tend to get better for those with SAD during the spring, others struggle with their mental health all year long. A recent report from the CDC found that 41% of patients are struggling with mental health due to the pandemic.

CDPHP has also seen a significant increase in people using mental health care services since the crisis began, and that’s why they partnered with Aptiheath to create an app for people to communicate with their doctor or therapists in-between sessions.

“As we think about the whole therapeutic process—be it in Telehealth visits that we do, that are people-first visits, face-to-face, that would be one way, ” said Dan Pickett, CEO of Aptihealth. “But also in-between—for things like reminders and encouragement, or answering questions—that in-app messaging is also really really important.”

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