TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—Workers for Mental Health America here in the Wabash Valley Region were expecting an increase in clientele. And they are already seeing higher numbers. Now they are taking it a step further to make their community has everything it needs to get through this time.
"We had caught early wind of the COVID-19 virus and how that might affect our communities," said Brandi Christiansen. She is the President and CEO of Mental Health America, Wabash Valley Region.
Christiansen said they wanted be prepared so they expanded their team.
"We were able to grab the team rather quickly with the assistance of our technology provider abstract," said Christiansen.
Now Mental Health America in Tippecanoe County has over fifty team members ready to assist those battling mental illness 24/7
"We're looking at peak times so we can double up," said Christiansen. "So we can take more calls as they come, we're anticipating more calls."
Right now the center takes twenty calls a day centered around suicide prevention and COVID-19. That's compared to the 15 calls the center received daily before the pandemic. Christiansen says this number is expected to rise.
"As social distancing becomes sort of an isolating factor for individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions, or as people experience joblessness, financial concerns, possibly lost of a loved ones," said Christiansen.
Mental Health America is making sure essential services are more accessible on their website. They are also offering a daily, virtual, support group open to anyone, tele-health provided by private providers in the community and free suicide prevention class.
"We will get through this, but everyone has a different method of coping," said Christiansen. "And we want people to understand that we are here to meet them where they're at, and we also want them to meet us where we're at."
The center's call lines are still open. The crisis number is 765-742-0244. For suicide prevention call 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
For all of Mental Health America's other services please visit their website by clicking here.