Experts in mental health are encouraging residents to reach out for help if the combination of Covid-19 and normal holiday stresses are leaving them feeling overwhelmed.
Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO of Family Service League, said many people have lost relatives to the virus, lost jobs and social contact with friends and family, all factors in creating depression or emotional problems at a time when others are celebrating. She urges everyone to make contacts to alleviate a sense of isolation.
“We recommend to anyone that we all stay connected to family. We can’t go visit but people can make contacts through social media,” she said. She recommended setting up time to set up family nights, play a family game or otherwise make connections.
Her organization offers a DASH hotline at 631-952-3333 which operates 24 hours a day to help any Suffolk County residents suffering from mental health or substance abuse problems. It can provide services remotely through telehealth counseling.
The crisis intervention/suicide prevention hotline is open every day, day and night, including holidays. Professionally trained and supervised volunteer counselors offer callers telephone support and help them to explore options that can lead to thinking through next steps.
Concerns have grown throughout the epidemic that social isolation, economic pain, lessened contact with religious institutions and worries about contracting the disease or the loss of relatives will prove too much for people.
If you need help, also consider:
Response Crisis Center, hotline available 24/7, including holidays, 631 751-7500
Long Island Crisis Center, remaining open 24/7 through the Covid-19 epidemic, 516-679-1111
Alcoholics Anonymous (631) 654-1150
Conexion, a hotline for Spanish-speaking residents, is available at (631) 751-7423, Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.
While there have been reports of increased sales of alcohol, other statistics indicate the increase is occurring in private or offsite sales, as people drink more at home because bar sales are severely reduced.