Mental health resources available during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 affects on mental health

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Because of COVID-19, some outlets and mental health resources people used pre-pandemic aren’t available right now.

“Going to parties and hanging out with friends, going to the gym and have a good workout,” Dr. Francisco Moreno, a psychiatrist for Banner Health. “We need to be looking for alternatives that will allow us to obtain similar outcomes.”

He recommends finding ways to exercise at home and staying in contact with loved ones even if you can't see them in person.

The National Center for Health Statistics and Census Bureau conducted a survey that found about 41 percent of Arizonans felt symptoms of anxiety or depression from June 25 through June 30. The study found Arizona has the third-highest percentage in the country.

"Sometimes those symptoms get to the point where they're really impeding our ability to be safe and be functional and it's really important that we seek professional help," Moreno said.

People can seek help at no-cost through Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling.

"They can get connected with a local counselor that's free and anonymous through this program," said Christopher Anderson, from the Crisis Response Network.

The Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling hotline is typically set up in areas experiencing a natural disaster such as flooding or a tornado. The program was brought to Arizona a few weeks ago because of COVID-19.

Anderson said the program usually lasts about one year after it’s launched in an area, and he recommends people reach out sooner than later.

"What we're looking to do is mitigate the long term mental impact of the disaster on people," Anderson said.

Call 211 or go online to resilientarizona.org

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