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East Texas therapists break down growing demand for mental health help

Texas Health and Human Services said they’ve received more than 20,000 calls to their COVID-19 mental health support line since March 2020.
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Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:24 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:47 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - “Anxiety tends to grow whenever we feel like something’s not going to end,” Bridge Therapeutic Services Co-Owner and Therapist Eric Young said.

Young said the number of people coming to get pandemic related help is growing.

“It’s a lot of stress, a lot of changing and shuffling things around, a lot of thinking ‘okay I’ve got it, this is under control,’ and then we have changes again,” Young said.

Therapy Inspired CEO, clinical director, and supervisor Kimberley Montgomery said Therapy Inspired has also recognized an increase in clients.

“Almost triple the amount of clients that we were seeing previously pre-pandemic. So we have, here at Therapy Inspired, we’ve hired on even more therapists.”

After the pandemic began, Texas HHSC launched the statewide COVID-19 mental health support line and text chat helping Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the pandemic.

Texas Health and Human Services said they’ve received more than 20,000 calls to their COVID-19 mental health support line since March 2020. They continue to receive calls every day from people who are experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19.

“It seems as any time there is an increase in COVID cases, there is an increase in clients,” Young said.

People can call Texas HHSC’s Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919 or text COVID to 832-479-2135 and be connected to a mental health professional. Operated by the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, HHSC’s hotline provides free, confidential counseling services.

“To be able to have support for people who can’t afford therapy, it’s really important for there to be as many possible resources out there,” Montgomery said.

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