GRAND RAPIDS — As we continue to navigate through these times of uncertainty, it’s important to continue to take care of our mental health.
That’s where a program through the state, called ‘Stay Well’ is making it even more convenient to get to help. Dr. Debra Pinals, Director of Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says people are realizing that mental health is an important part of the equation and that its something people need to pay attention to and that’s why making help available and accessible is key.
When the state of emergency was declared for Michigan they were eligible for federal funding to expand and extend mental health resources, offering everything from 24/7 counseling to a PEER warm-line. Dr. Pinals says they were also just awarded an extension of the crisis counseling program grant and they're working on launching outreach specialists to work on really getting out into communities to make more information and resources available, because its clear the need is there.
“I can tell you that our website, our latest report showed that it had almost 30,000 hits, that's a lot of people looking at it. Our crisis text line, where you text the word "restore", we've had about 1000 different texts since we launched it at the very end of April, and our peer warm-line has had over 7000 calls.”
Real people behind those numbers, everything from people just want to talk, to other wanting referrals for mental health care and even crisis calls that have potentially prevented suicide. Dr. Pinals says that’s the goal of ‘Stay Well,' letting people know there is help available and that you’re note alone.
“I think it's also important to realize that there's hope. And that we never want to give up the idea that there is hope. I mean, we are in this together. The more we think about how we can help each other through this, in some ways, helping others is a way of helping ourselves it's really kind of how we're wired.”
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