The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put a significant strain on mental health. Public health actions like social distancing, in addition to fear and anxiety about the virus, can lead to feelings of isolation and increased stress and in turn, cause a rise in suicidal thoughts and behavior.
In Somerset-Pulaski County, the total number of calls to law enforcement agencies for suicide or suicidal threat increased by 8 percent in 2020 over 2019. And while September often has a high number of incidences and is also recognized as Suicide Awareness Month, the month of January is historically difficult for residents as well.
As we begin a new year in which we continue to fight COVID-19, the Somerset Police Department wants to encourage everyone to REACH OUT to your neighbors to make sure they are well and lend a helping hand, and to SPEAK UP if you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
The Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital’s behavioral health unit offers the following advice for managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The resources below are available for anyone who needs assistance:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis Text Line (U.S. text line)
Visit crisistextline.org for more information
Adanta Crisis Hotline
Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital Behavioral Health Unit