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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

5-Day 'Residential Restart' Program Aims To Help Those Struggling With The Pandemic

Courtesy of Lindner Center of HOPE
There have been major changes that people couldn't have anticipated with COVID-19 and this program is designed to help people cope.

A Greater Cincinnati counseling center is starting a new program to help people process their grief and move forward with a better coping plan during the pandemic.

The program at the Lindner Center of HOPE is described as a five-day residential restart for people who normally would be able to manage life's stressors, but given the current crisis, have a heightened sense of anxiety and maybe some symptoms of depression.

Director of Residential Services Dr. Mikaela Peavy says mental struggles with the coronavirus may also play out in binge eating, internet misuse and substance abuse. A recent study found alcohol sales are up 55% during COVID-19 and online alcohol sales have increased 243% since last year.

"We really wanted to hone in and focus on those individuals who were normally functioning just fine before the crisis but now they're starting to see that they are struggling more than they thought they would given this current situation," Peavy says.

Patients will participate in individual and group sessions and see a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an anxiety specialist and services from spiritual care.

"Rather than focusing on all the things we've lost, what we really want to do is focus on how can we be stronger and more resilient as a result of this crisis," Director of Therapeutic Services Dr. Laurie Little says.

She hopes patients return home even stronger than they were before.

The Lindner Center of HOPE says it doesn't require a referral and it will submit claims to insurance.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology