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What are the Mental Health Challenges for Mesothelioma Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken a serious toll on our collective mental health, forcing many people to disrupt their routines and stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease. The risk of contracting the deadly virus is particularly perilous for cancer patients, whose immune systems are suppressed by their disease and its treatments. As cancer patients deal with feelings of isolation and fear of contracting COVID-19, they have to take extra steps to cope with the unique mental health concerns they may experience, which can include stress, anxiety, and depression.

Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, infects the lining of the lungs and chest cavity and often causes painful respiratory symptoms. Contracting COVID-19 on top of mesothelioma can compound these symptoms, as many suffering from the virus experience persistent cough and difficulty breathing. Although many people have begun to resume some activities, including running occasional errands or gathering with members, even activities considered low risk by some people can have deadly consequences for mesothelioma patients. Mesothelioma patients whose jobs do not allow them to work remotely must deal with additional stressors as they worry about their job security.

Telehealth and Distanced Support Services

It is more important than ever for mesothelioma patients to look after their mental health during this time, but they may have difficulty accessing in-person services during the pandemic. Many counselors and other behavioral health professionals are offering telehealth services, allowing them to continue seeing and treating patients while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Patients can meet with trained mental health professionals via video conference, using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Telehealth is not a perfect solution, as patients may have difficulty operating the necessary technology or may not feel the same level of connection with a digital visit, but it is the safest option while COVID-19 is still a concern. Counselors who meet with clients digitally are held to the same standard of care and licensure requirements as those treating patients in person.

Mesothelioma patients often rely on their friends and family for emotional support as they struggle with the disease and undergo treatment. Having to forego in-person socialization because of the pandemic has been challenging for patients who are already suffering. Patients should be honest with their loved ones about what they need to get through this time, which can include regular phone calls or video chats, coordinated food or grocery drop-offs, and socially distanced outdoor get-togethers, when weather permits. Friends or family may also be able to join appointments with the patient’s care team virtually to support their treatment.

Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Asbestos Exposure Victims

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, reach out to the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Shein Law. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at-fault for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable. We will be with you every step of the way to fight to obtain the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your treatment. For an initial consultation, call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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