With all of the recent guidance on proper precautions to take in order to protect one’s physical health, local experts joined KVOE’s Talk of Emporia Friday to offer some advice on also protecting their mental health.
Crosswinds Counseling and Wellness CEO Amanda Cunningham and Beacon for Hope Suicide Prevention Executive Director Melissa Kurtenbach both agree the recently issued state-wide and local stay-at-home orders can bring several stressors to those currently struggling with their mental health. In fact, Kurtenbach says they have already seen a large rise in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline just in Lyon County alone in recent weeks.
Kurtenbach says this is both a good and bad trend as on one hand, it shows individuals are struggling with recent events, but on a bright note, it shows individuals have a willingness to reach out for help rather than give into their depression and anxieties.
Kurtenbach says now more than ever individuals need to maintain contact with their support systems whether it be friends, family or a mixture of both. Cunningham says during this time where the situation is constantly evolving, it is important for residents to focus on the things they can control rather than the things they cannot.
Both Cunningham and Kurtenbach are also encouraging residents to spend time with immediate family by watching movies together, playing games or simply getting out and active with proper social distancing to help maintain healthy relationships. Kurtenbach says this is not only good for bonding purposes, but it can also help make an individual’s support systems stronger as the situation begins to normalize, hopefully within the next few weeks.
Both Crosswinds and Beacon for Hope are continuing all of their normal services with a few minor adjustments. Rather than in-person visits, appointments or counseling is now being done either through online services or over the phone to adhere to proper social distancing practices.
For anyone who may be in need of mental health services at this time, you are asked to contact Crosswinds either by calling (620) 343-2211 or through their website at CrosswindsKS.org. You may also contact Beacon For Hope by calling (620) 208-9926 or by visiting Hopelinks.org. Residents who may be struggling with bouts of depression or thoughts of suicide are also encouraged to utilize the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255.