Behavioral norms changing amid COVID-19 pandemic


ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Normal life has been put on pause for weeks and, because of that, a lot has changed. 

Mental and social behaviors go hand-in-hand. Amid the coronavirus, Executive Director of Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center, Kevin Hoyle, has noticed changes in both.

“I think the anxiety level has increased for everybody,” said Hoyle. “Being isolated, being away from others, that increases your anxiety level for adults and for kids. I think long term folks can develop mental health problems.”

“It is kind of second nature for southerners to reach out and touch and hug,” said Hoyle. “It’s difficult for folks because I think they do crave that closeness and that interaction with others, particularly in our culture.”

Hoyle said that social interactions are important for everyone, and to combat isolation there are several things you can do: take care of yourself physically, eat healthily, and prioritize sleep.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, Hoyle recommends talking to someone you trust and to seek professional help. 

There is also a list of helplines on our website, including substance abuse and suicide prevention. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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