The Grapevine

Nonprofits In Minnesota Strengthen Mental Health Services Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has yet to fully settle down but there are repercussions most are expecting. Among them include the mental state of people who have been forced to stay indoors for months. Aside from that, there are other things to consider. Anxiety, depression and PTSD-like symptoms are likely to grow. In all, some people may need help in other aspects outside addressing the respiratory concerns brought about by the coronavirus.

Right now, there are cases in select regions of people taking a hit mentally. Some are restless and the cloud of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brings is part of it, if not entirely. There are institutions right now trying to address the situation. However, it remains that there will be more once the pandemic is over. One region already making plans to boost mental health services are Minnesota nonprofits.

Shannah Mulvihill, the executive director for Mental Health Minnesota brands the whole issue as the calm before the storm. She forecasts a lot of people needing help once the pandemic subsides, something that could last for a long time. The number of people in mental distress is already evident. A federal agency has already seen a spike of more than 1,000 percent in April alone, the Washington Post reported. Aside from that, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll clearly showed how the outbreak was affecting the mental health of nearly half of Americans.

And while some consider it not entirely a result of COVID-19, suicides are another concern. Some cases of people ending their lives have grown rampant the past days. In a report from AFP, there was a 74-year-old immigrant who ended up committing suicide after pleading to be released at a detention facility in California last weekend. Choung Won Ahn was afraid of getting infected with the strain and was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments. He was found dead Sunday at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility.

Aside from that, there were reports of a local paramedic and a New York doctor who committed suicide. People are trying to deal with mental distress. But as mentioned earlier, health experts caution that suicides may not be directly linked to COVID-19. It is preventable and it all starts by reaching out and informing most that there are people ready to help. That is the initiative that Minnesota nonprofits are trying to address as early as now.

Psychopath In A Suit Psychopaths are more likely to put on a suit and go to work than wear an orange jumpsuit in jail. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain

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