With the stress of current events and living with a pandemic for roughly a year, people are struggling with mental health now more than ever.
Community Counseling Solutions Clinical Director Thad Labhart said, “pandemic or not,” everybody copes differently but needs to seek a connection.
Labhart said those connections could come through natural support, such as family, friends or community events. The irony is that many people with anxiety and depression may have a fear of initiating that connection, he said.
“So one of the best things that, as a community, we can do is reach out to those folks who we know are struggling and do some outreach,” he said.
Labhart said reaching out to those communities does not have to be through “formal mechanisms.”
“We have all sorts of people right now who are doing outreach with people that are identified to have struggles,” he said.
He said Community Counseling Solutions does not know who those people are.
“So we have to rely on the community to tell us who we can do outreach with, but not everybody wants to hear from CCS,” he said. “People value their privacy, particularly in a small town.”
Labhart said CCS received a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was able to bring on seven different outreach workers. He said two are full-time.
Labhart said they’re not counselors, just outreach workers. He said the workers coordinate with community groups and people in the community identified as those who may need help getting connected with services in the area and throughout the state.
He said these could be behavioral health services, medical, housing, loan protection programs and employment.
Labhart said the crisis workers can be reached at 1-800-923-4357 or 541-676-9161.