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Grief and loss during the pandemic leads to increase in Hoosiers seeking out mental health services

mental health and covid
Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 20:14:12-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As Hoosiers deal with grief and loss from this past year, the Behavioral Health Department at Community Health Network is seeing an increase in patients seeking out services.

“People are struggling. People are having a hard time,” Vanessa Enos, program manager at Community Fairbanks Behavioral Health Clinic said.

Over the last year, she says there has been an increase in suicidal attempts. More patients are also dealing with anxiety.

“We have also seen a huge increase in the amount of folks showing up in our emergency rooms across the central Indiana area with an overdose,” Enos said.

Enos knows the pain many are feeling,

“We've lost half a million people or more I am one of those people I lost my grandmother at the beginning of this,” she said.

The behavioral health clinic is also helping those on the frontlines battling the pandemic.

“Our respiratory therapists, our nurses, our physicians, the folks that are spending time in the ER’s and ICUs, our first responders," she said. "They have just seen a lot of really hard death this year."

She believes healthcare workers who have been caring for patients with COVID-19 for more than a year now will have long-term mental health effects from the pandemic.

“I think there will be some PTSD from that constant exposure to death and unpredictability and heartache," Enos said. "There’s just a bit of concern there so take care of your friends and family in those jobs.”

According to Community Health Network, there has been a 300% increase in call volume to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline within the last year.

Enos encourages those dealing with depression to reach out to loved ones and stay connected.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate attention, call 911. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also text "HOME" to 741741 to connect with the Crisis Suicide Text Line 24/7.