EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — From depression to post-traumatic stress to suicidal thoughts, the effects of COVID-19 have been difficult for many El Pasoans.
To assist those who are experiencing mental health issues, the city’s Health Department and Emergence Health Network are offering a free COVID-19 Mental Health Counseling Support Hotline.
The hotline is answered by trained public health specialists who can connect individuals to behavioral and mental health resources in the El Paso area. The community can reach the hotline by calling 211, visiting EPStrong.org and clicking on the Mental Health button on the homepage or by calling Emergence Health Network’s 24-hour Crisis Counseling Program hotline at 915-779-1800.
According to an assessment conducted by the Paso del Norte Health 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.
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- Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks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