After almost a year and a half, COVID-19 has had a life-changing impact on the community to include issues stemming from mental health such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Department of Public Health officials and their partners at Emergence Health Network are encouraging residents experiencing strong mental health emotions to seek support for themselves or their loved ones.
“Current research shows that 3 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic,” officials share. “The most recent data from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation also underscores the importance of seeking professional behavioral help as an early intervention to prevent hospitalization and improve results”
According to an assessment conducted by the foundation, 13.6 percent of adults in El Paso County experienced stress, depression, and problems with emotions for more than 14 days over a period of a month, as compared to Texas at 11.6 percent and the U.S. at 13 percent
Trained public health specialists are available to connect individuals to behavioral and mental health resources in the El Paso area by calling 2-1-1, visiting EPStrong.org and clicking on the Mental Health button on the homepage or by calling Emergence Health Network’s Crisis Counseling Program hotline which offers free counseling support to those who are experiencing challenging emotions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That 24-hour hotline is 915-779-1800.
Common mental health warning signs/symptoms to look out for are:
- Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks
- Trying to harm, end one’s life or making plans to do so
- Severe risk-taking behavior
- Sudden overwhelming fear or worries that get in the way of daily activities
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Seeing, hearing, or believing things that are not real
- Excessive alcohol use
- Drastic mood swings
- Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still