South Carolina Crisis Hotlines seeing increase in calls, looking for volunteers to help beyond pandemic

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – This pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health of people around the world. One organization is receiving so many calls for help, they’re asking for additional volunteers.

As the self-isolating continues, so do the calls from people who need help.

“We have seen an increase in calls but we’re also seeing an increase in the level of anxiety that our callers are experiencing,” said Mental Health America of Greenville County Director of Community Engagement and Development, Susan Smyre Haire.

Susan Smyre Haire with Mental Health America of Greenville County told us South Carolina Crisis Hotlines have been seeing an increase in calls. It’s not just mental health emergencies but some callers are just looking for comfort.

“Perhaps they’re struggling financially, perhaps they’ve struggled with a loss of a job,” Smyre Haire said.

That’s something psychiatrist, Eve Fields told us she’s seeing with her clients now.

“We’ve seen a lot of people who have increased sense of loneliness, stress, worries, because of all the discrepancies between even our national leaders about what the right things are to do,” said Concert Health Medical Director, Eve Fields.

She, like most in her profession, is using technology to communicate with her clients.

“What we’ve been doing is either telephone calls or televideo calls to clients,” Fields told 7 News.

And for Andrew Weiner those electronic calls are crucial. He works with families who are struggling with mental illness. It’s something he knows about firsthand.

“My other younger son attempted suicide so again this group has helped me walk through that journey,” said Family Support Group Facilitator with NAMI, Andrew Weiner.

Fortunately Weiner told us his son is doing better. He said he has another one that has also been battling mental illness. However he told us both his sons show that hope is out there for others facing the same fight. He told us they have come a long way and that’s something he shares with others during his group meetings.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance during this difficult time, there is help out there. You can find resources here: https://www.namigreenvillesc.org/.

Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. You can call that number anytime of day or night.

On top of that, if you’re interested in volunteering or working for Mental Health America, you can find information on that by contacting volunteer@mhagc.org.

There is additional information on job openings along with resources in the community on their website: https://www.mhagc.org/.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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