Mental health services in higher demand during uncertainty of pandemic

Coronavirus

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — In uncertain times, it’s the unknown, and fear because of it, that can lead to more worry. 

“More and more every day.” 

Susan Phillips, with Volunteer Behavioral Health Systems, sees it firsthand, more patients battling serious mental health issues. 

“I do feel like people are getting anxious and a little more depressed,” Phillips says  

Serving primarily Sumner County, Phillips and her staff are prepared for the fight, but it’s not the same. 

“This is a different time,” she says.  

They have to reach people over video or by phone. And while thankful for the technology to do it, the outreach is needed now more than ever. The state has reported more than a 60 percent increase in calls to the suicide hotline, while nine people died of suicide in 48 hours, in Knox County. 

“We’re trying new things so we can stay in touch with you, we can help you but this is new to us too,” says Phillips. 

Staying ‘in touch’ may make all the difference. A text message or video chat could save a life. Phillips calls it expanding a social support system. It’s vital these days to making it through. 

“We’re going to be here for you, we are here for you, so reach out and let us know when you need us.” 

If you need help, call Volunteer Behavioral Health at 1-800-704-2651 or visit www.vbhcs.org/services/. The Tennessee Crisis Line can be reached at 855-CRISIS-1. 

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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