Experts Raise Alarm About Looming Coronavirus Mental Health Crisis
Calls for information and referrals to the L.A. County Department of Mental Health were up more than 20% in March and April compared with the same months last year.
Some advocates worry it’s only the beginning.
At the same time the virus is causing more people to seek psychiatric help, the state’s prisons and jails are releasing thousands of inmates, many of whom have mental health issues.
We spoke to Michelle Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California:
“We are really concerned that in parallel with the public health emergency we have an emerging and significantly larger behavioral health crisis brewing across the state."
“We should look at it as a public health crisis that’s within a crisis,” he said.
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HOW TO ASK FOR HELP IF YOU (OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW) NEEDS IT:
- Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, 24/7 Access Line 1-800-854-7771, links to COVID-19 information.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
- The Crisis Text Line, Text "HOME" (741-741) to reach a trained crisis counselor.
- Steinberg Institute website, links to mental health resources and care throughout California,
- Institute on Aging's 24/7 Friendship Line (especially for people who have disabilities or are over 60), 1-800-971-0016 or call 415-750-4138 to volunteer.
- California Psychological Association Find a Psychologist Locator
- Psychology Today guide to therapists