The North Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Counselors utilizes a systemic perspective to assist couples and families with relationship issues and difficulties that arise in daily living. The North Carolina Association for Marriage and Family Counselors is committed to the mental health, wellbeing, and growth of all families.
Families Under Stress
COVID-19 has impacted the activities of daily living since the initial onset in early 2020. This public health crisis has affected families economically by significantly increasing unemployment and poverty rates, reducing household incomes, and requiring shutdowns across the nation (Pak et al., 2020). Relationships of all types have suffered and relationship functioning has been challenged (Pietromonaco and Overall, 2020).
Although evidence on how COVID-19 has specifically impacted relationships is still emerging, we do know that stress levels within relationships have increased at both the macro and micro level. Throughout the literature, one contributing stressor to the shift in relationship dynamics has been identified as financial security (Pak et al., 2020; Pietromonaco & Overall, 2020). Another stressor includes couples and families struggling with meeting one another’s emotional and social needs (Pietromonaco & Overall, 2020; Prime, 2020; Sarner, 2020).
As mental health professionals, we will continue to come into direct contact with couples and families who are facing issues associated with COVID-19. Couples and family counselors must continue to meet the needs of these clients as everyone adapts to the new realities. Tele-Mental health counseling is one way to meet clients where they are and we must remember to always provide resources and support to our families. Some great self-care resources are shown below and we must always remember to take care of ourselves too.
Helpful Self-Care Resource Links
Pak, A., Adegboye, O. A., Adekunle, A. I., Rahman, K. M., McBryde, E. S., & Eisen, D. P. (2020). Economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak: the need for epidemic preparedness. Frontiers in public health, 8.
Pietromonaco, P. R., & Overall, N. C. (2020). Applying relationship science to evaluate how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact couples’ relationships. American Psychologist.
Prime, H., Wade, M., & Browne, D. T. (2020). Risk and resilience in family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Psychologist.
Sarner, M. (2020). Maintaining mental health in the time of coronavirus. New
Scientist, 246(3279), 40-46.
Kelsey Webb & Caroline Booth (2021)