Miami Valley Warmline offers mental health support during pandemic

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, in partnership with Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, has launched a Miami Valley Warmline as a way to provide mental health support to those who may need it as the pandemic continues to disrupt daily life.

Calls for help to Montgomery County ADAMHS have roughly doubled this week, according to Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director.

As sidewalks and many beloved businesses sit empty, the emotions that come with these changes are starting to set in for some people, Jones-Kelley said.

“If people are feeling depressed or anxious or even fearful, they need to name that, and in doing so, they can take the steps that are necessary to do something about it,” she said.

And it’s not just adults seeking help – many of the calls ADAMHS has received recently are from parents asking for advice about their kids still home from school, Jones-Kelley said.

“People should talk to their children where they are,” she said. “If it’s a young child, talk about how they’re feeling about being home all the time.”

Keeping a routine at home is important, especially for children, Jones-Kelley said. She suggests getting up at the same time each day and making sure you and your family are getting enough sleep.

Jones-Kelley also recommends maintaining a regular pattern for meals.

The Warmline is a free, confidential service for callers to get connected to additional counseling services, if needed, Jones-Kelley said.

“If they just feel stressed or they need information, they need some emotional support,” she explained.

Officials have said it’s also important to keep in touch with neighbors, friends or family who live alone.

“Leave a kind and cheerful note, offer to run an errand, just give them a call to say hello,” said Lori Criss, director of Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Jones-Kelley said she wants people to remember these shutdowns will not last forever.

“The next several weeks, we’ll experience some surges, but at the same time, we’re going to get to the other side of this crisis,” she said.

Those interested can call 937-528-7777 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to seek support or learn about health and recovery resources in the community that are available.

The service will be available as long as it is needed, Jones-Kelley said.

The Warmline is not meant for emergencies, Jones-Kelley said. Anyone in need of urgent counseling should call CrisisCare, a 24-hour phone line, at 937-224-4646, she added.

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