Experts discuss mental health care during COVID-19 and tips for 2021

HOUSTON – 2020 has been a year we will never forget. The pandemic changed how we do things and impacted people’s mental health, but experts say there is a lot to look forward to this new year.

“I think that this year for many people has been incredibly exhausting and emotionally and psychologically taxing,” Julie Kaplow said.

KPRC 2 spoke to Kaplow. She’s the executive director of the Trauma and Grief Center at the Hackett Center for Mental Health.

“Things have been very busy during the pandemic for sure,” she said.

In the past 365 days, Kaplow said COVID-19 has created a lot of mental health issues for children and adults.

Students had to adapt to online learning, some people had to work from home, while others lost their job. It’s been a tough year for everyone.

“We are also seeing a lot of grief sadly among many of our community members who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19 and this is particularly difficult for children especially those that may not have had the opportunity to say goodbye,” Kaplow said.

More than 346,000 people lost their lives to the virus. Kaplow said it’s time to put 2020 in the past and look forward to the new year.

“You know having vaccines coming out. Having a hope of somewhat a new normal. I think is really helping people,” she said.

It’s a new year with new goals and a different perspective.

“We’ve all been incredibly stressed over the last year and now is the time to really take care of ourselves,” Kaplow said.

She said going into this new year focus more on yourself. Go for more walks and exercise more.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit