Springfield counseling center reports recent spike in sessions

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 11:41 AM CDT
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As the pandemic worsens, our mental health suffers, with the added stresses of things like health concerns and money problems.

The Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center has remained open throughout the pandemic, but has moved many therapy sessions online. Counselors report a decrease in demand during the stay-at-home order, but a 32% spike over the last several weeks. They report a lot of issues, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and problems with children’s behavior. For some teens though, counselors say they are seeing a decrease in symptoms, as some are feeling less social pressure.

They're still able to meet demand, but say that could change. But there are some things that you can do on your own to help your family's mental health.

OCC's executive director says, try to nurture your relationships and stay connected, whether that's in person, or over the phone, or video chat.

Do positive things, like hobbies, and get exercise, because taking care of your physical health will help your mental health.

They say be sure to communicate with your kids about the pandemic and what’s going on, but remain calm about it, and firm about things they need to do, such as wearing a mask. Also realize they may be feeling lonely and anxious and need a little extra attention. Things like hugs at home and sitting close when watching TV can help build that connection. And all of us, including parents, need to pay close attention to taking care of ourselves.

“We just have to go back to the basics during this time of being sure to nurture our relationships and remain connected, do positive things, hobbies, exercise, taking meticulous care of our physical health at this time is going to really help with the mental health as well,” said Andrea Bishop, Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center Executive Director.

The center offers counseling to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay, using a sliding scale. Last year, their average client paid $23 a session, with the gap between fees and cost of service filled largely through fundraising.

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