Mental Health Association of Frederick County says it’s a way to remind people help is available.
Frederick, Md (KM). It’s a way to let people know there are resources available for those experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, drug overdoses and suicide attempts. That’s how the Mental Health Association of Frederick County describes the purpose behind May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
Travis Walter, the Association’s Administrative Director of the Crisis Service Division, says providing services for those with mental health issues is especially true during the current pandemic. He says the Association has received a lot of calls from people who are suffering from depression, which is more than feeling down in the dumps. “No longer being able to focus at work or school; no longer being able get sleep, or not able to get out of bed,” he says. “It’s starting to really impact your relationship with others and the things that you want to do.”
He also says the Mental Health Association has been fielding calls about anxiety. “I thing anxiety is very similar. Where it’s starting to impact that functioning and have a negative impact on your life,” says Walter. He says at this time, “there’ something wrong and it’s time to reach out.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, 2020, Walter says the Mental Health Association at first received few calls or virtual visits to the walk-in center on South Jefferson Street. But that all changed when many people realized the Association had not shut its doors like other organizations and businesses. “We never stopped providing services during the pandemic. When everybody went into lockdown, we switched to a fully virtual or through phone model for our call center and for our walk-in programs and our traditional outpatient mental health services.:”
For anyone who needs help, they can call the Mental Health Association at 211. They can also drop in to the walk-in center at 226 South Jefferson Street in Frederick. The hours are 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Walter says individuals who come into the walk-in center will wait no less than 15-minutes to speak with a counselor. It starts with the counselor just listening to the patient, and then the talk centers around safety concerns. After that, a treatment plan is developed. “And if the person is open to it, we’ll continue to follow up with them a little while to make they were able to connect with resources on that long term plan,” he says.
By Kevin McManus