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Being Prepared for Mental Wellness Amid a Pandemic | CWK #34

By November 17, 2020March 10th, 2021No Comments

The latest issue of KidsPeace’s Healing Magazine looks at the impact COVID-19 has had on mental health in America, and proposes a new way to look at safeguarding our mental wellness in the face of the stress of the pandemic.  On the Conversations with KidsPeace podcast, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matthew Koval discusses how we can adopt a set of actions to protect ourselves against the effects of COVID-19 – call it “mental health protective equipment,” or MPE.  Bob Martin hosts.

You can also read Dr. Koval’s article and download a visual chart of MPE here.

Podcast Show Notes


In your article, you raise a really important point about the difference in the kind of stress we face now compared to the earlier days of the pandemic. Can you explain why what we’re feeling may have changed?


The core of your article is another analogy – that being the need to treat our mental wellness with the same care that we addressed physical health with personal protective equipment, or P P E. What are the similarities you see between our experience with P P E and what you’re calling mental health protective equipment, or M P E?


You identify five areas of behaviors that constitute M P E, what you call in the article the “toolbox” of M P E. So let’s talk through them each. The first tool seems to be at the center of all good health – sleep and nutrition…


You note the value of positive coping skills as tool #2.


Number 3 may be very popular with folks these days – limiting media exposure. Why is that valuable?


The fourth area is “healing relationships.” What do you mean by that?


And finally, something that is getting quite a bit of attention these days, access to mental health care. You seem to be advocating, in the same vein as P P E, that folks make a plan for seeking help should it be necessary. How do they do that?


You and your co-author Jodi Whitcomb end the article by noting that the experience of dealing with COVID-19 may have a silver lining. How so?


As you know, we ask all our guests to end with a Life Hack – a bit of advice, some inspiration, etc. Dr. Koval, what’s your life hack today?
Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Director of Communications at KidsPeace. 800-25-PEACE, ext. 7797 |