Mental Health and Wellness During a Pandemic – Dr. Peter Yellowlees

Mental Health and Wellness During a Pandemic – Dr. Peter Yellowlees

Dr. Yellowlees discusses strategies for optimal mental health and wellness during the COVID 19 pandemic, and tips for avoiding anxiety, depression, and social isolation

Peter Yellowlees, MD is Professor of Psychiatry and Cheif Wellness Officer at UC Davis Health. He has published seven books and over 200 scientific articles and book chapters. Full bio here:—general-psychiatry—physician-health-sacramento

Interviewer: Kyle Allred, Physician Assistant, Producer / Co-Founder of

(This video was recorded on February 19, 2021)


00:00 Introduction to Dr. Peter Yellowlees
00:35 Mental health during COVID-19 pandemic: moral injury, burnout, anxiety and distress
02:31 Specific stressors contributing to mental health issues
05:07 Definition of “anxiety” and its role as a defense mechanism
06:28 How poverty contributes to links between obesity/inactivity and depression/anxiety
08:21 Is there a difference between mental health and wellness?
10:06 Difference between “physical distancing” and “social distancing”
12:08 How personality traits may or may not contribute to mental health during COVID-19 pandemic
14:46 Setting boundaries, especially for parents and children
16:20 How to support healthcare professionals and physicians
18:39 Use of cell phones and mental health
21:17 Tips for creating healthy interactions with the news and media
21:54 Research and experience with virtual appointments and physician visits
24:44 Techniques for gathering patients’ vital signs and information during virtual visits
26:40 Silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic
27:30 What does a Chief Wellness Officer do?
28:28 How gratitude leads to happiness and how to incorporate it into a pandemic
30:46 What is “burnout?”
33:07 Importance of hope amidst the COVID-19 pandemic


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Video Produced by Kyle Allred



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#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #MentalHealth


  1. MedCram - Medical Lectures Explained CLEARLY on August 3, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for watching and subscribing. See all MedCram interviews and COVID-19 updates at our website:

  2. De Stressfrlyf on August 3, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I would love for him to unpack "Lack of access to care"

  3. polaris911 on August 3, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    why would "lack of access to care" cause an increased incidence of COVID in people of color? Makes no sense.

  4. ale84 on August 3, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    For adults, problem is lack of work/revenue, which leads to unavoidable mental issues.

  5. Eelke Aptroot on August 3, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Another great speaker! Thanks Kyle!

  6. Amit Verghese on August 3, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Can we all take a moment to appreciate Kyle’s calm and friendly tone towards his guests – it’s almost ASMR-like.

  7. RussCR5187 on August 3, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Excellent questions; thoughtful, to the point, and well explained answers. Can’t ask for more than that! Thanks for this video.

  8. HarmonySpirit Being on August 3, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    We’re all mammals, but not all mammals are the same! I enjoy my solitude!

  9. Laurie Romero on August 3, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    If I were stranded on a deserted island one of the “books” I would bring would include all of the transcripts from the medcram videos! Thank you

  10. magsb3 on August 3, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    A well though out interview. Good questions and though invoking answers.

  11. sengsationa1 on August 3, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    I really liked hearing about the positive aspects of video visits (meeting pets and family, seeing the patient environment, etc). The alternative physical visits require everything to go through the patient’s words, and we know what a filter that can be.

  12. Bob Thrasher on August 3, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Yes, a great deal of "moral injury" due to denial of outpatient treatment!!!!

  13. Peter Tylee on August 3, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Unusually sensible for a psychiatrist. Must be Australian. 🙂

  14. Monica Hasselgren on August 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    I can not take much more!
    So alone,nobody to talk to.
    Waiting for Sweden to start give vaccin to elderly people so we can meet with other People.

  15. Doctor ER on August 3, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Thank you for touching upon the topic of mental health during the pandemic. It’s so important right now!

  16. Keith Beyerle on August 3, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Portions of this content should be on primetime news. Also, who the crap are the 5 ppl giving this a thumbs down??

  17. Christa Wild on August 3, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    I agree children are some of the biggest losers as a result of this pandemic. It’s so sad just how much my kids have lost out over the last year…

  18. Phil Lee on August 3, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I’m delighted that Dr. Yellowlees was clear about the difference between the much-abused term "Social distancing" and what is actually needed, which is PHYSICAL distancing. It has been a pet peeve of mine since I first heard the former incorrectly applied.

  19. MISTAH BOOMBA on August 3, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    I suspect loss of community/tribe contributes. Let those you care for know it!

  20. Jenny D on August 3, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you so much. I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Yellowlees for keeping me informed. I relate to all of the things he discussed. It was so educational and made me feel grateful as I look forward to a better future post-pandemic.

  21. Monica Perez on August 3, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    My mother, a retired RN, may God rest her soul, used to say, isolation leads to depression, depression leads to poor health, and poor health leads to an early death.

  22. Tara Rosin on August 3, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    So true about getting sleep, exercise and good nutrition, avoid substance abuse and self medicating! Deal w/ anxiety and stress.

  23. Iquey on August 3, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    31:10 the meat of the issues in many of our jobs are listed out right here. Emotional depletion. Detachment and cynicism, and low personal achievement. Feeling no matter what you do or how hard you try, nothing ever changes for the better long term.

  24. Pinwheel ART on August 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    I am introverted and the problem lies in when I have to go out or want to go out for a change. The politicizing of it all has also caused a lot of strain for people with medical issues. You may genuinely not be able to function with a mask on but we have demonized it so much that that alone causes anxiety about going out.

    I was out the other day and began having a panic attack. I needed to breathe and needed space… instead of people backing off and giving me a minute I began to feel surrounded as I turned to find another person at my side as if I was being corralled for some reason. I couldn’t get the words out…a lady is asking if I am feeling claustrophobic while hovering next to me…(does she understand the word?). I am a small woman…not a danger to anyone…I just needed to breathe and be left alone. Everyone is convinced that anyone who removes or doesn’t wear a mask is an evil person out to kill everyone with a virus they don’t even have.

    It’s really sick this society we are living in. I honestly hope we begin doing better.

  25. mick6ful on August 3, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Great Video thanks