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How to cope with the pressures pandemic life puts on mental health

Apr 6, 2021

For the past three years, this space has shared advice from Dr. O’dell Owens, Interact for Health’s President and CEO and a longtime advocate for health in Greater Cincinnati. Dr. Owens retired from Interact for Health at the end of March and we wish him the best in the next phase of his life and service to the community!

We will continue to provide health education with a new, refreshed campaign starting in May.  This month, we’d like to reflect on the health of our community one year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, Interact for Health conducted the Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey to better understand adults’ attitudes and behaviors during the pandemic, and also its broader health impacts. The survey found that about 1 in 3 adults (32%) said their mental health had gotten worse since the pandemic began in 2020.

Poor mental health is often tied to substance use, including tobacco. Recent data has shown that progress in smoking cessation has stalled:

The North American Quit Line consortium reported that calls for phone-based tobacco cessation support were down 27 percent while cigarette sales were up slightly. 

Quitting tobacco can require medication and support, but reducing stress also helps.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these activities to manage stress:

  •  Take breaks from the news and step away from social media.
  • Take care of your physical health. For example, take walks as the weather begins to warm.
  • Set aside time to unwind with activities such as meditation or reading a book.
  • Connect with others who can provide support.

For more information about coping with stress during the pandemic, please visit

Return to What's New

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  • Apr 06, 2021

    How to cope with the pressures pandemic life puts on mental health

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