PENDLETON Most afternoons, Jenni Beth Brock sits down at her bedroom desk, powers up her laptop, slips on a pair of headphones and gets to work.
Brock, of Boardman, answers calls for the David Romprey Oregon Warmline as a peer support operator. She spends her days helping people deal with anxiety, depression, loneliness and worry. Bluetooth allows her to move around as she listens. She sits at the desk or crosslegged on her bed. Other times she goes outside and walks the property with her dog as she listens.
These days, callers often mention coronavirus.
A lot of the older folks are challenged with the isolation, Brock said. Loneliness is something you cant take a pill for.
Sharon Kuehn, who manages the help line for Heppner-based Community Counseling Solutions, said demand for the line increased from about 85 calls per day to 300 in the last couple of months. With support from the Oregon Health Authority, the agency was able to temporarily add staff and increase coverage.
Operators log every call. Loneliness, isolation and feeling shut-in account for a quarter of calls.
People are feeling isolated, Kuehn said. Were all having this experience of having a lot less contact.
Greg Borders, chief clinical officer for a crisis line organization called Lines for Life, echoes Kuehns observations. The Portland-based nonprofit, which operates crisis lines, has experienced a sizable uptick in calls. Lines for Life has a suicide hotline, Alcohol and Drug Helpline, Military Helpline, Youthline and Senior Loneliness Line. The suicide line has remained fairly flat, but calls increased substantially for the other four.
Were definitely hearing the name COVID-19 mentioned in almost all the calls, Borders said. Some common themes are fears around their health or the health of their loved ones, particularly older parents or grandparents.
Clinicians hear about financial concerns including drops in the stock market, job loss and the mechanics of applying for unemployment.
Callers who feel isolated are encouraged to find a way to connect with someone, maybe go through their phones contacts and reach out to anyone who might benefit.
We talk about physical distancing as opposed to social distancing, he said. We believe that right now is the worst time to be socially isolated.
Kuehn said the David Romprey peer operators walk alongside callers and help them process without giving specific advice.
We listen for the untold story, she said. You give someone your attention and its such an effective way of connecting and exploring their world view that they are able to see things about themselves that they maybe didnt understand before.
Borders said Lines for Life counselors follow a similar model, though they suggest ideas for staying mentally healthy during COVID-19.
Reach out to others, he said. Keep some structure to your day. Things that worked before COVID-19, keep those in place. If youre somebody that got up at the same time and went to bed at the same time every day, try to do that. Get some fresh air. If youre used to exercising, do that. Its so important to move. Try to keep your hygiene up. Change your clothes. Eat healthy.
Like Brock, the majority of call takers in both organizations work from home. Only those who have no private confidential space go to the office these days.
They sit down at the kitchen table or wherever, Borders said. If their shift starts at 8 a.m., they just plug in like they would at the office, and then calls start rolling in.
It can be taxing.
Its a lot to ask to have somebody who of course has their own questions, fears and anxieties around COVID-19 to listen to calls and support people for eight hours per day in their own home, he said. When you turn off your computer, youre still in the same space. You turn off the phone and youre still at home. Its hard to get a break from it.
Borders said working from home is necessary to keep call counselors safe, but they must get used to being physically alone and getting colleague support virtually instead of in person.
The challenge of that is were a model that is really built around the strength of the team, he said. Were all used to being in one room together where we can support each other when a rescue needs to be initiated or a difficult call needs to be debriefed. Weve had to be creative to come up ways to make sure the clinician sitting in their dining room all day taking eight hours of calls listening to people worrying about COVID-19 is getting the support they need.
For all the angst from callers, Borders and Kuehn notice silver linings. For one, people are reaching out to help lines and each other.
We are hearing a lot of really hopeful stories. We hear about people connecting with people they have not talked to in years or family members really rallying around an isolated sibling or parent or friend. Were hearing a lot of stories of resiliency. Its pretty encouraging.
Brock said she is there on the other end of the line to listen to whatever is on a callers heart.
I try to keep it to 20 minutes, but its more about the person than the time, she said. People have heavy things they need to tell somebody.
- This town of 170,000 replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years - CNN - July 5th, 2020
- Donnelly: Progress on horizon for mental health - The Columbian - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health strain on firefighters must not be swept under the rug - Las Vegas Sun - July 5th, 2020
- People in mental health crises need help, not handcuffs - STAT - STAT - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health myth: Mental illness is the same for people of all races - BlueRidgeNow.com - July 5th, 2020
- Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care - The European Sting - July 5th, 2020
- JOHN ROSEMOND: Is there a child/teen mental health crisis? - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - July 5th, 2020
- Peak Wellness Center to host webinar focused on Minority Mental Health Awareness Month - Wyoming Tribune - July 5th, 2020
- Mental Health Greensboro Offers Support This Summer - The Rhino TImes - July 5th, 2020
- Love Island's Belle Hassan opens up on mental health - digitalspy.com - July 5th, 2020
- Providing mental health support for youths affected by COVID-19 - Swinburne University of Technology - July 5th, 2020
- How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work and Mental Health - Harvard Business Review - July 5th, 2020
- Can snoring affect mental health? Heres what you need to know - The Indian Express - July 5th, 2020
- Mental health expert suggests ways for coping with coronavirus crisis - The News International - July 5th, 2020
- Swimming out of the darkness: How cold-water swimming helps with mental health - ABC News - July 5th, 2020
- Mohena Kumari on Covid-19 isolation affecting mental health: I had a lot of anxiety during those d... - Hindustan Times - July 5th, 2020
- Anand Mahindra believes we may be confronting a mental health crisis. Here's why - Times Now - July 5th, 2020
- How neuro-knowledge can help us find happiness and improve mental health - ABC News - July 5th, 2020
- How is mental health manifesting itself in the insurance world? - Insurance Business - June 22nd, 2020
- Native American groups address mental and behavioral health as COVID-19 wears on - Salt Lake Tribune - June 22nd, 2020
- Will digital mental health solutions thrive after Covid-19? - Medical Device Network - June 22nd, 2020
- ATAI dives into digital therapeutics to boost mental health care - FierceBiotech - June 22nd, 2020
- While Some Experts Brace For Tsunami Of Mental Health Issues, Others Predict Crisis Will Be Short-Lived - Kaiser Health News - June 22nd, 2020
- An inside look at Stanford's one-of-a-kind course on mental health innovation, where students mingle with industry experts and develop business plans... - June 22nd, 2020
- Defund police? Some cities have already started, investing in mental health instead - USA TODAY - June 22nd, 2020
- Discussion: You Don't Have To Go Far To Improve Mental Health - WCCO | CBS Minnesota - June 22nd, 2020
- Post-traumatic growth will happen in some after Covid-19 ends - STAT - STAT - June 22nd, 2020
- UPDATE: Police reopen east Bloomington area after addressing 'mental health crisis situation' - Bloomington Pantagraph - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental Health and Sleep Behaviors Are Affected by Diabetic Neuropathic Pain - Endocrinology Advisor - June 22nd, 2020
- 'You are not alone': The pandemic is causing increased anxiety. Here's how to get help - Desert Sun - June 22nd, 2020
- Usher's New Look and Cricket Wireless to Host Virtual Youth Mental Health Summit Addressing the Effects of COVID-19, Systemic Racism and Social... - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental Health Court receives funding for second year - The Owensboro Times - June 22nd, 2020
- Mental health conditions are not a normal part of aging: Dr. Brad Lucas - cleveland.com - June 22nd, 2020
- 'A culmination of crises': America is in turmoil, and a mental health crisis looms next - USA TODAY - June 22nd, 2020
- Covid-19 affects BAME youth mental health more than white peers study - The Guardian - June 22nd, 2020
- UW study looks at the long-term mental health toll of lockdowns - MyNorthwest.com - June 22nd, 2020
- The mental health victims of the pandemic the role of intervention - National Health Executive - June 22nd, 2020
- FCF|REACT Capacity Building on Adult and Child Mental Health - ReliefWeb - June 22nd, 2020
- Three Corners Health hopes to bridge the gap through online mental health forum - Williams Lake Tribune - June 22nd, 2020
- Larimer County, Fort Collins spar over location of behavioral health facility - Coloradoan - June 22nd, 2020
- Pandemic takes a toll on mental health of US residents, new national survey shows - News@Northeastern - June 22nd, 2020
- In the name of #MentalHealth - Mumbai Mirror - June 22nd, 2020
- Uthappa bares it all to raise awareness on mental health and suicide prevention - The New Indian Express - June 22nd, 2020
- Woman Behind Bars With Severe Mental Illness Gets Moved From County Jail - levittownnow.com - June 22nd, 2020
- As activists call to defund the police, mental-health advocates say the time is now to rethink public safety - MarketWatch - June 22nd, 2020
- WRITE TEAM: COVID-19 and mental health/addiction impact - MyWebTimes.com - May 26th, 2020
- Food Service Workers Are on the Brink of a Mental Health Crisis. These Efforts are Helping. - Civil Eats - May 26th, 2020
- 'We are all going through this:' Albany County mental health hotline helping hundreds - Albany Times Union - May 26th, 2020
- Here2Help Mental Health Coalition Library Forum: How to Recognize and Support People in Emotional Distress - TAPinto.net - May 26th, 2020
- VIDEO: YouTuber shows what it's like to have anxiety and panic attacks - Insider - INSIDER - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health and social isolation: how do have an active participation in self-care? - The European Sting - May 26th, 2020
- Cahill calls for mental health unit to be restored, expanded in Kingston - The Daily Freeman - May 26th, 2020
- Copper Ball virtual auction to benefit northern Arizona behavioral health - Arizona Daily Sun - May 26th, 2020
- Online therapy having its moment, bringing insights on how to expand mental health services going forward - The Conversation US - May 26th, 2020
- 'Like an earthquake with many aftershocks,' Coping with mental health and substance abuse issues during pandemic - Monadnock Ledger Transcript - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health apps draw wave of new users as experts call for more oversight - CNBC - May 26th, 2020
- Free Therapy and Mental Health Services You Can Access During the Coronavirus Outbreak - MSN Money - May 26th, 2020
- Mental health: How to care for yourself during the pandemic - CNN - May 26th, 2020
- Covid 19: This form of yoga can improve mental health, suggests study - The Indian Express - May 26th, 2020
- We Need to Take Action to Address the Mental Health Crisis in This Pandemic - TIME - May 26th, 2020
- Katie Lou Samuelson on mental health journey -- 'I realized I needed to ask for help' - ESPN - May 26th, 2020
- 3 signs that your coworker may be struggling with mental health issues - Fast Company - May 26th, 2020
- Singapore-based Intellect wants to lower barriers to mental health support in Asia - TechCrunch - May 16th, 2020
- Take care of your mind: mental health at JMU - The Breeze - May 16th, 2020
- The government will spend $48 million to safeguard mental health. Extending JobKeeper would safeguard it even more - The Conversation AU - May 16th, 2020
- Mental health expert panel discusses how to best deal with differing opinions on COVID-19 - WSAW - May 16th, 2020
- Greater Olean Area Mental Health Professionals Talk About How They Cope With the Pandemic - TAPinto.net - May 16th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor | Mental health requires more attention - Daily Illini - May 16th, 2020
- Mental health therapist concerned about telehealth reimbursements after emergency proclamation ends - KCRG - May 16th, 2020
- Coping Through COVID: The Importance of Mental Health - Patch.com - May 16th, 2020
- Suicide Prevention Aims To Get Ahead Of Pandemic's Added Pressures : Shots - Health News - NPR - May 16th, 2020
- Virtual mental health help for nurses at the front line of COVID-19 pandemic - Wink News - May 16th, 2020
- Experts worry about effects of coronavirus pandemic on those with mental health issues - CBS News - May 16th, 2020
- In China, covid-19 has focused attention on mental health - The Economist - May 16th, 2020
- Deaths and hunger strikes point to mental health crisis on stranded cruise ships - The Guardian - May 16th, 2020
- Im a survival psychologist, and this how weeks of social isolation is affecting your mental health - Well+Good - May 16th, 2020
- No Stigma Nevada: Its the worst time to skimp on mental-health resources - Elko Daily Free Press - May 12th, 2020
- Texas mental health counselors see influx of patients during coronavirus - The Texas Tribune - May 12th, 2020
- COVID-19 and your mental health | Health - Payson Roundup - May 12th, 2020
- Mental health in the workplace: The final frontier - Daily Herald - May 12th, 2020