Mental health providers & digital health solutions offer resources to encourage timely access to mental health crisis services
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2020 – According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, almost 1 in 5 Americans experience mental health concerns each year, while more than 100 die by suicide every day. COVID-19 crisis precautions introduced such as social distancing and self-isolation, coupled with the fear of medical emergencies and growing anxiety about the prolonged nature of the crisis, could amplify the number of people suffering from mental health concerns across the US. With Qualtrics reporting that 41.6% of the population has seen a decrease in their mental wellness since the COVID-19 outbreak, an innovative website resource aims to help alleviate their suffering.
As COVID-19 emergencies consume precious healthcare resources, timely access to mental health crisis care has never been more critical. With 20,000 – 40,000 people being admitted to emergency departments across the US each day for psychological purposes, providing a pathway to crisis care is essential. Across the world, a coalition of digital health solutions companies and mental health crisis responders called the Pandemic Crisis Services Response Coalition have designed a website to make it easier for Americans to prevent a mental health crisis while accessing available treatment when it is necessary.
The website, www.covidmentalhealthsupport.org, includes three main sections: guidance for people in crisis wishing to access support, guidance for helping a loved one in crisis, and resources for health care professionals.
“The ability to access mental health crisis services is critical at this time, yet COVID-19 is impacting the typical ways people receive help in a crisis,” says Travis Atkinson, president of the Crisis Residential Association and co-chair of the American Association of Suicidology’s Crisis Services Committee. ”As Emergency Rooms focus their capacity on COVID-19 patients, and psychiatric hospitals decrease their census to conform to social distancing guidelines, people in crisis need to know how to access available mental health services.”
Digital health solutions partners including KeepAppy, Live For Tomorrow, and All Mental Health are contributing to the cause.
“It has never been more important to take preventative action for mental health than now, in the face of the mental illness crisis coming as a result of COVID-19,” says Aimée-Louise Carton, co-founder of KeepAppy. “Using digital health and WellTech solutions will be a key mechanism for creating a bridge of preventative mental wellbeing support during this time of social distancing and isolation.”
While there is suffering as a result of COVID-19 that is unavoidable, mental health suffering can be prevented or minimized with the right interventions. The Pandemic Crisis Response Services Coalition is committed to doing all that we can to prevent additional deaths of despair due to consequences of our current situation..
Organizations that would like to join the effort or suggest additional resources are encouraged to visit https://www.covidmentalhealthsupport.org/contact.
For more information and interview requests, please contact:
Co-founder and CEO, KeepAppy
p: +353 851439503
Notes to Editors:
The Pandemic Crisis Services Response Coalition members:
- All Mental Health
- American Association of Suicidology
- Crisis Residential Association
- Crisis Text Line
- Live For Tomorrow
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
- National Association of Crisis Organization Directors
- RI International
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- TBD Solutions
- The Trevor Project