May 7, 2020

Doctors see decrease in patients with behavioral health issues due to shutdown | KTVE

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RUSTON, LA. (05/06/2020)– While COVID-19 has increased the number of individuals suffering from anxiety and depression, doctors are seeing a decrease in cases reported.

Tonya Monk with Serenity Springs Specialty Hospital says indivuals suffering from mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, find social distancing difficult because it keeps them awat from their support systems.

“We do what’s called intensive outpatient programs, where they’ll go maybe four or five times a week and they’re not getting that,” Monk said. “They are not seeing their therapist.”

Therapists are offering telehealth sessions through zoom and phone calls, but it’s not the face to face support patients are used to.

“They can only hold it together for so long, you know, they’re isolated,” Monk said. “They’re not seeing the people that will usually keep them on the straight and narrow now that they have to stay home.”

Monk says COVID-19 has also sparked fear preventing individuals from seeking help from the hospital.

“I think a lot of them are scared to go to the ER because they’re afraid they’ll catch the COVID,” Monk said. “So we are seeing less. We are seeing less patients at our hospital.”

As we reach the end of the shutdown, Monk says it’s important to continue to check up on family and friends to remind them that they are not alone.

If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health and need assistance, you can call the Louisiana Crisis Hotline at 800-437-0303.

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