A look at the impact of COVID-19 on mental health as numbers rise

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada is seeing record-breaking COVID-19 numbers as the virus continues to spread. The pandemic is also leading to a major increase in mental health needs.

The number of adults in Nevada struggling emotionally right now has skyrocketed, according to the state. The number of children receiving help for behavioral health needs has also gone up.

During Monday’s COVID-19 call with reporters, we heard from a senior advisor with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Dr. Stephanie Woodard says data is reflecting just how much the pandemic is taking a toll on Nevadans emotionally and psychologically. She noted the number of adults struggling emotionally is three to four times what it usually is.

“Grief or loss of loved ones, financial instability, job loss, housing and food insecurity, social isolation, concern over exposure to COVID, managing working from home and schooling children are all very real examples of significant stressors facing our fellow Nevadans,” Woodard said.

And, there are challenges children are facing. In a Nov. 16 letter to healthcare providers, the department noted the pandemic is an adverse childhood experience.

There is a decrease in reported child abuse because people who usually report it don’t have the same access to the kids, including teachers. There are increases in calls to children’s mobile crisis hotlines and an increase in youth suicides.

DHHS is reminding Nevadans to be aware and to report any signs of child abuse or neglect. There are resources to protect children and resources to help address mental health issues.

For information and resources from DHHS’ office of suicide prevention, click here. To reach the Division of Child and Family Services Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Team, call 702-486-7865 for Southern and rural Nevada or 775-688-1670 in Northern Nevada. You can also click here.

For a full list of resources, including those for providers, parents/caregivers and youth, click on the PDF below.

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