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Mental health professionals say new order in Ohio is 'marathon, not a sprint'

Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 23:34:27-04

CLEVELAND — Vacant streets and empty restaurants are how the city looks on Sunday now. The stay at home order issued by Governor Mike DeWine is keeping people inside.It was supposed to end on Monday, April 6 but now it's been extended another month to May 1.

"This is a marathon not a sprint," Scott Schlachter said. "Well, I think that people should first of all just think about the next several days."

Schlachter is a licensed independent social worker. He said ignore the big countdown to the end of the month and instead focus on making a daily schedule and sticking to your routine.

"That's how we're going to combat this and not look too far ahead because it becomes daunting," he said.

Schlachter said to go outside if you can but still social distance. He encourages people to bike, run or walk as much as possible. He said cardio is important because "it's like taking free anti-depressant medication."

But when you are inside, he said, practice good habits.

"I think people are really bored. They've run out of ideas and they will start to drink," Schlachter said.

Alcohol is a depressant. He warns it could increase anxiety. Both he and DeWine stress getting help through telemedicine.

"Today, mental health is truly just as important as physical health," Governor DeWine said on Saturday.

Recently, the governor signed an order making it easier for people to access mental healthcare using telemedicine.

"I think it's very helpful," Schlachter said. "It's not the perfect thing but it's more than enough to be able for a clinician to see what's going on and help the client."

Schlachter encouraged people to keep a good sleep schedule as well.