Erin Ralston, a therapist from the health center, joined Kelly Werthmann on CBSN Denver to explain how the support line is making a difference for Coloradans who may be struggling with the stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic.
“Our goal is to be a resource that doesn’t impede on the stress of daily life,” she said. “The support line is accessible for someone who needs that extra person to talk to, a neutral person to talk to outside the family, whose job is to listen so their needs are met in that conversation.”
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives every day, and can be taking a toll on our mental health. That is why the Aurora Mental Health Center is reminding everyone to take care of themselves and they are available to help with their Support Line.
Ralston said a big concern and frustration among most callers is they’re just ready for the pandemic to be over and done.
“We’d all like to return to some sort of normalcy, and it doesn’t seem that we’re going to be doing that anytime soon,” she said.
Many people are finding it difficult to cope day to day, Ralston added. They’re not getting enough sleep, some are struggling to keep their energy up with kids at home, and simply managing their daily tasks.
“With the pandemic in play,” Ralston explained, “we have a little less energy to manage the things we normally would, so we may not be able to cope quite as well. Plus, our normal coping skills may not work well right now. You can’t go spend time with friends, and if that’s your primary coping skill, you need some support adjust to something you can do safely.”
Ralston said advice on how to cope depends person to person. Therapists on the other end of the Support Line can help find a solution.
“I’ve seen so many people have picked up hobbies like canning, baking, things that you really didn’t do before [the pandemic],” she said. “Finding something you enjoy doing is going to be really important. Also, being patient with yourself… being kind about what you need. If you need a little more sleep, that’s okay. If you need more time to finish a project, that’s okay. The laundry didn’t get done? That’s okay.”
As for what a person can expect when they call the Support Line – a safe space to share.
“They can share as much as they want to share. We’ve done a lot of problem solving, a lot of ‘what coping skills should we be trying instead,’” Ralston said.
The Aurora Mental Health Support Center Support Line is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm. Spanish speaking therapists are also available, as are translators for other languages. Just call 303-617-2300 and select option 2 to talk with a therapist.