STATEHOUSE (April 20, 2020) – State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) said many helpful mental health resources are available to Hoosiers during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Even in the best of times, mental health resources are needed by a variety of Hoosiers who may be struggling," said Kirchhofer, chair of the House Public Health Committee. "This unprecedented situation has highlighted the very best our state has to offer as we come together to fight this pandemic, but it has also shined a light on the need to support those struggling. Fortunately, Indiana is prepared and has resources available 24/7 to anyone in need."
Kirchhofer said an easy way to find local mental health resources is to call 2-1-1. The free service quickly connects callers to support near their homes and is available 24/7. Hoosiers can also contact their doctor or health insurance provider about access to telehealth options for counseling and emotional support.
According to Kirchhofer, social distancing and staying home may exacerbate addiction issues for those in recovery from substance abuse because they may not have access to their typical healthy coping methods. Anyone struggling can call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to get referrals for treatment at state-approved agencies and connections to support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Shelters have reported an increase in domestic violence since the stay-at-home order was issued. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-332-7385, and is online at icadvinc.org where Hoosiers can seek help and find nearby programs and services.
Kirchhofer said for some, social distancing can trigger feelings of loneliness and suicidal thoughts. Those experiencing emotional distress can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org for confidential support.
"These are great resources, and so are loved ones," Kirchhofer said. "Just a few weeks ago, some viewed technology as a barrier in relationships, but it is now a tool many are using to stay in touch while we are physically apart. It is encouraging to see so many utilize video chat programs to spend time together while we practice social distancing."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers comprehensive guidance on coping with stress. Tips include keeping a routine, staying connected with family and friends, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. More information can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Stay updated on what Indiana is doing to address COVID-19 by visiting IN.gov/coronavirus.
State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,
which includes portions of Marion County.
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