COVID connections: How resiliency training and social contact in the era of COVID-19 support mental health, behavioral change and addiction recovery.

COVID-19 impacted mental health in fundamental ways, forcing isolation and insecurity on individuals, families, and communities. Dr. Reginald Richardson explores ways we can rebuild resilience as we transition from pandemic to endemic, with particular emphasis on social support. Dr. Richardson also discusses how isolation has had a particularly damaging influence on alcohol and drug addiction rates and overdoses, with limited access to emergency mental health services contributing to poor outcomes. Episode host Dr. Yashika Watkins and Dr. Richardson also unpack some of the features of the stages of behavioral change, noting commonalities between the processes of increasing physical activity and reducing alcohol and food consumption, and how these changes can be facilitated through social contact in a group setting, as demonstrated by the Movement is Life program Operation Change.

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