SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) — When Maria Rendon noticed her 15 year-old son was feeling down due to isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic, she immediately sought the help of a therapist.
“No motivation, the children have no motivation,” she said. ‘They’re isolated at home. They’ve had to do school differently.”
Saturday marks World Mental Health Day. From the pandemic, to civil unrest and the upcoming election, mental health experts have noticed an uptick in patients seeking to help deal with day-to-day issues.
“We know that a lot of people are feeling hopeless and helpless during this time not knowing what the future holds and having a lot of disconnection and isolation from others,” said Carolyn Levitan, crisis line director at the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center.
Levitan said the center has seen a 50% increase in people calling for assistance and have added extra volunteers and staff to help folks cope with the stress 2020 has brought on.
“The CDC has recently reported that one in four teens is thinking about suicide, so that’s something that’s concerning for us, especially now that are kids are more disconnected,” she said.
Experts encourage people to reach out to their loved ones virtually or by phone and to try to stay as connected as possible.
Rendon said she knows people affected by suicide and is adamant no one should suffer silently.
“Therapy helps,” she said. “Don’t be afraid and don’t think that only crazy people get therapy. It helps.”
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255. Volunteers are available 24/7.