AUSTIN, Texas -- As the coronavirus pandemic persists, you might be experiencing fear, grief, even loneliness. Layoffs, self-isolation and adapting to a new normal are just a few factors that people are struggling with.
Crisis hotlines across Texas are seeing a jump in calls.
“I think we’re also seeing some people who are navigating some mental health issues in ways they haven’t in the past,” said Karen Ranus, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Health's Central Texas chapter. “And that makes total sense, because you have a lot of people dealing with stress and anxiety, but also a collective sense of grief.”
Ranus points to the loss of jobs, schools and experiences that we’re used to having like being around people as reasons for the spike in mental health issues.
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute predicts that in Texas alone, a 5 percentage point annual increase in the unemployment rate could result in 300 additional lives lost to suicide each year and 425 additional lives lost to drug overdoses.
“I think that we’re going to see a wave of mental health issues hitting us in the months ahead. I’m not sure that we’ve really seen fully the impact that it’s going to have on our community,” Ranus said.
How to get help
Texas COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line: 833-986-1919
NAMI Texas: 512-693-2000
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline: 800-662-4357
Suicide Prevention Line: 800-784-2433
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Ranus.