GREER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Mental health often has a negative stigma surrounding it. However, in recent years, the topic has been more openly discussed with less judgement.

Now that we are just over a month into the second half of the year, it may be time for some to regroup and refocus.

The year 2020 may have started off with smile and cheers, but came to a screeching halt for many. Sickness, death, job loss, and all around chaos can greatly affect one's mental health. 

FOX Carolina's Jarvis Robertson spoke with a psychiatrist to better understand the possible challenges of mental health.

“Things like being worried, being upset — that’s normal. Things like having trouble sleeping every night, things like turning to alcohol — negative coping skills, that might be something where a bigger intervention is necessary,” said Dr. Lance Feldman, Interim Medical Director for The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health.

Right now, there's a major focus on children starting back to school. For them, this has probably been the most uncertain of times because their young lives have been uprooted and things are still up in the air to some regard.

Dr. Feldman says honesty is the best policy with your children because they need to understand their current reality.

“Kids are wonderful lie detectors. So they know when parents and teachers and grown-ups are telling the truth and they know when we’re fibbing,” he said.

But parents should also understand the level of which their child can comprehend the truth.

Another way to help them cope with the current changes is to let them know their feelings are understood.

“At the same time it’s okay to say wow, I understand why you may be anxious right now and so here’s what your school is doing," he said. They’re limiting class sizes, they’re going to a color system so it’s only going to be certain days. They’re limiting crowding on the buses."

With everything going on so far in 2020, it's easy to get caught in a whirlwind of emotions. Remaining grounded and mindful is essential for mental health.

“These are things that we call focusing and staying in the moment -- not catastrophizing things in your head, running to stinking thinking; kind of keeping yourself in the moment and trying to figure out how to balance," Dr. Feldman said.

Copyright 2020 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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