NE Indiana lawmakers: Mental health resources available to Hoosiers during pandemic

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Tuesday, April 21, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 21, 2020) – Northeast Indiana legislators said assistance for a variety of mental health issues is available for Hoosiers struggling to cope with the overwhelming effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) said an easy way to find local resources is to call 2-1-1. The free service quickly connects Hoosiers to support near their homes and is available 24/7. Many health insurance providers also cover telehealth options for counseling and emotional support.

"Hoosiers already suffering from mental illnesses are at greater risk of experiencing negative thoughts and emotions during this pandemic," Abbott said. "This situation will likely heighten symptoms felt by those with mental health conditions. Anyone needing help should reach out to one of these resources."

According to State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), 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.

"Concerns for family, self, and jobs, along with a constant barrage of difficult, often conflicting news coming on a daily basis, have many Hoosiers feeling anxious and stressed," Smaltz said. "If you need help, people are ready to talk to you."

Shelters have reported an increase in domestic violence since stay-at-home orders were 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.

State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) 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 emotional support.

 "Just because we are social distancing ourselves, it does not mean we need to neglect our physical and mental health," Zent said. "These resources can be extremely valuable to those who need them but even a phone call to a family member or friend, or a walk down the street can help alleviate some of the pressure many may be feeling."

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

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State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) represents House District 82, which includes 
all of Noble County and portions of Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange and Whitley counties.
Click 
here for a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52, which

includes all of DeKalb County, and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) represents House District 51,

which includes most of LaGrange and Steuben counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.