Therapists cope with pandemic and increasing demand for mental health services

Arkansas News

ASHLEY CO. Ark (KTVE/KARD) — It’s been nearly a year since the ArkLaMiss was hit with the coronavirus pandemic. The effects of it all has sent more people to seek help from therapists but how are they coping as they get through these times?

“It can be overwhelming some days,” Owner of Resolutions Behavioral Health Services LLC, Yolanda Martin said.

We are still progressing into this pandemic with the end no where in sight. Anxieties and depression from the public have only grown since the beginning of it all.

“Our numbers have increased since the pandemic since the pandemic. Yesterday we had four referrals and today we had two more,” Martin said.

Mental health professionals like Martin and David Jordan have had to follow their own advice when it comes to self-care.

They say dealing with a world health crisis and trying to help others maintain can sometimes be a heavy weight. The pair has had to find ways to release their own stress.

“I take hot baths. I try to have some downtime just sometimes some alone time or listening to an audio book or some music,” Martin said.

Despite the increase in mental health services, these therapists say they will always make time for their clients.

Jordan works primarily with young children and teens. Although schools and sports activities have resumed, he’s concerned about virtual students not getting much outside interaction with their peers.

“I’ve seen a lot of frustration and I’ve seen a definite downturn in general mood,” Jordan said.

He advises parents to go back to the basics if they believe their child is becoming distant.

“A lot of us have poor eating habits due to the pandemic. I’ve seen a lot of kids who are virtual parents complain about weight gain which leads to them being lethargic which leads to them just wanting to play video games or watch Netflix or being in their rooms on the computer or on social media,” Jordan said.

“In addition to exercise and reading and meditation, start with the small things. Start with eating healthier.”

Martin says she doesn’t want adults to be silent strugglers adding that not seeking any kind of help can be dangerous.

“I just want people to know that therapy is a safe place,” Martin said.

Many of the sessions at Resolutions Behavioral Health Services are happening through teletherapy. If you don’t want to seek help, therapists recommend journaling and talking to someone you know.

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