Calls to crisis hotline increase during pandemic

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 19:39:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the pandemic continues -- it's also impacting the mental health and anxieties of people across Tennessee.

The non-profit Family and Childrens Service is just one agency that fields calls from the state and nationwide crisis hotline. They say calls to their center have increased during the pandemic.

But the calls that come in don't always come from people who say they want to kill themselves.

During this Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, those who have taken those calls say many people are just lonely, or anxious over the loss of a job, politics or the social justice movement.

Michelle Bauer with Family and Childrens Service says the most important thing we all can do is not be afraid to ask a friend or loved one if you think they may be considering suicide.

And there are some warning signs you can look out for:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there is hope and help available. You can call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471), or text "TN" to 741-741. People will be there to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.