Ongoing pandemic leads to mental health crisis

Ongoing pandemic leads to mental health crisis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Over half a million lives lost, millions of jobs cut and months of isolation. It is no surprise the pandemic has led to a mental health crisis.

“That feeling of just loss and hopelessness, not knowing what’s going to happen from day to day, if you’re going to be alive or if you’re not. So, I would definitely say it has impacted our mental wellbeing,” said Dr. Audrey Elion, chair of Tennessee’s Suicide Prevention Network in Memphis and Shelby County.

“But as far as looking at the crisis calls,” said Elion. “We have a national crisis hotline number. The call level has increased nationwide, and also here specifically in Tennessee.”

Warning signs that someone may be suicidal include: a change in eating and/or sleeping patterns, extreme mood swings, talking about wanting to die and also social withdrawal.

“But with the pandemic, a lot of people have had to withdraw socially,” said Elion. “So I would say, I’ve always suggested, check in on those a little bit more because they may not even be participating in virtual learning or virtual means of communication.”

Along with checking in on those you know, Elion says there are crisis hotlines to call as well.

The national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

The hotline for Tennessee: 1-855-274-7471 or text “TN” to 741-741

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