COVID-19 shutdown impacts mental health resources in McHenry community

Neuropsychiatrist Kohn identifies large demand in mental health resources within MCHS Community and how to cope with troubling times.


Working harder than ever, Dr. Robert Kohn sees patients electronically to ease the anxiety caused by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Madison Senica, Staff Writer

Mental health will be a vital part of McHenry’s ability to sustain resilience in times of panic. As of March 27, Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Robert Kohn and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Karen Senica have had to take new measures to provide the best holistic care for their patients during the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Towards the beginning of March, COVID-19 started becoming a popular topic in the media, causing an increased amount of anxiety symptoms among those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Kohn states, “the impact of family disruption, work dislocation and even hospitalization resulting in death of a loved one has the effect of increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression.” Not only those with anxiety disorders suffer from symptoms such as sleep disruption or changes in eating or sleeping patterns, but the average person is also at risk.

Though patients are no longer allowed to do in-person appointments, Kohn’s work team has been able to do virtual appointments called tele-psych. These virtual appointments have the same concept of Zoom or FaceTime, using both audio and video. Senica exclaims, “people who have tried tele-psych seem to really enjoy it and find it convenient.” This allows for mental health checkups while following the enforced social distancing rules.  

There are many coping strategies to help with these anxieties at home as well. Kohn recommends controlling the things that you can. While people affected by the coronavirus may not be able to control who gets sick or stays inside, they can control their sleep, how much they exercise and what they’re eating. This helps them feel like they have some sort of control over the coronavirus situation. Kohn also recommends to “use humor when [people affected] can.” Negative thoughts can overwhelm your mind. Reacting with positivity and coping strategies is a key way of staying healthy. 

Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the whole community is in a state of panic. To help keep a stable mental health, it is recommended to try coping strategies. In times that seem unbearable, anyone can call the McHenry County Crisis Line, 800-892-8900. It is extremely important to stay healthy physically and mentally so McHenry can combat COVID-19 efficiently.