Increase in depression, anxiety, substance abuse: Spartanburg mental health experts discuss impact of pandemic

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg mental health specialists are tracking the lingering effects of the pandemic on your mental health. Even though the cases of coronavirus are decreasing, they’re concerned about the damage already done.

A year for the books and certainly one Cheyenne Williams said she won’t forget.

“It was a rough time for everybody and I think it effected everyone differently,” said Spartanburg County Resident, Cheyenne Williams.

She and her friend, Jana Racuka told us they’ve been through a lot of ups and downs this year, like online school and not seeing friends.

“I feel like I did get more depressed during it just because I didn’t get to see my friends or anything and even in classes, I felt super isolated,” said Jana Racuka.

It also was a memorable year for Evan Carr.

“We had to do a lot of work at home or take time off from work and sometimes when you’re in closer quarters, it can get the best of you but it also brought us closer together,” Spartanburg Resident, Evan Carr told us.

In a virtual community forum Tuesday night, Spartanburg mental health experts like Sabrina Richardson said they’re expecting these feelings to linger.

“Getting in with a therapist is pretty challenging at this time. Stress is up, anxiety is up,” said Marriage and Family Therapist, Sabrina Richardson.

Richardson told 7 News, the biggest issue she noticed through the last year is discord among family members. Also, she and other therapists said addictions are climbing.

“We’ve seen at ReGenesis that our behavioral health services are up 300%, that’s from July of last year to present day,” Director of Behavioral Health at ReGenesis, Patty Nodine said.

Patty Nodine specializes in this very topic. She said they’ve been especially busy the last couple of months.

But these mental health experts mentioned, there is hope.

“Your willingness, openness to try something different, do something different,” Richardson said.

Nodine said if this advice isn’t working, then you know it’s time to reach out for help.

“If we’re drinking plenty of water, getting outside to feel the sunlight, some level of rest and sleep, then we can start recognizing if our thoughts are taking us somewhere we don’t want to go,” said Nodine.

You can find a list of local, statewide and national resources below.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

NAMI South Carolina: https://namisc.org/resources/

AccessHealth Spartanburg: https://www.accesshealthspartanburg.org/

ReGenesis Health Care: https://www.myrhc.org/

Mental Health America Spartanburg: https://mhaspartanburg.org/

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