Health & LivingNews

North Iowa Expert: Mental Health Can Be Affected by Isolation

A north Iowa expert specializing in the mental health of older adults says there are several warning signs that a loved one or someone you know is struggling emotionally.

Mitchell County Regional Health Center’s Sheila Kobliska is the hospital’s Program Director for Senior Life Solutions. She says one of the biggest impacts on the mental health of older adults over the last year are feelings of isolation brought on by the pandemic

Kobliska adds many of the warning signs a senior is having mental health issues also apply to people of all ages including irritability, increased or decreased appetite, unexplained aches and pains, persistent sadness, depression or anxiety, changes in sleep habits, or loss of enjoyment of things one used to enjoy. She says if there’s any talk of suicide, call 911 or a healthcare provider immediately. 

Kobliska says if a loved one or someone you know needs help, reassure them that help is available and it’s ok to ask for help. The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is also promoting “Make It Ok” to help educate Iowans and get the conversations going about mental illness as part of Mental Health Awareness Month during May.

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Mark Pitz

News Director
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