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While countries around the world continue to mobilize to contain the spread of the coronavirus, mental health experts say we can’t lose sight of another alarming issue: the long-term mental health impact the pandemic is going to leave on society.

“What I think we’re facing here is a very traumatic event for a lot of people,” said Mark Henick, a mental health strategist and speaker. “It’s a traumatic societal event for people. And one thing that we know about trauma is that while it’s happening, you do whatever you can do to survive.

“You bear down and you just get through it, which is what we’re all trying to do right now. I think that we’re still very much in the trauma phase — the active trauma phase of this pandemic.”

But what happens after physical-distancing measures are lifted? What comes after the pandemic is over and people are able to get back to whatever their normal may be?

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“There’s going to be residual stress, depression, certainly financial pressures, learning how to re-engage with the world in this new way,” Henick said.

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