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State expands mental health accessibility

The coronavirus pandemic has people more stressed and anxious than ever. But, help is on the way.

Posted: Jan 14, 2021 12:30 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2021 8:38 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Arturo Hurtado graduated from Chico State last year.

He comes to Bidwell Park to play music to combat the isolation at home.

"I mean it beats just staying inside and watching Netflix over and over again,” he mentioned. “It's like a combination of a way to get outside of the house and distract myself."

And Hurtado is not alone.

"I've been hanging in there,” said one biker. “Thank god the park is open so we can actually be coming to this and get some exercise. Otherwise, we would be stuck at the house and just climbing the walls in there."

But, help is out there. In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law strengthening the state's mental health services. Now, insurers must cover all mental health conditions instead of only a handful.

It will also require them to meet standards when defining who can get medical help for mental health.

Psychologist Dr. Joel Minden says the best way to combat isolation, depression, and anxiety is to get creative.

“My experience has been that the folks who are able to manage some of the challenges of the pandemic most effectively are the people who are really committed to finding creative ways to take action, to experience pleasure, sense of accomplishment and to increase that sense of personal control,” Dr. Minden said.

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