Mental Health Experts Say Pandemic, Derecho Taking Toll On Iowans

Mental health experts in eastern Iowan say they are seeing a growing number of people trying to cope with the stress of the August 10 derecho on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most feel like it’s just not ending like it’s just one thing after the other,” Foundation 2′s Crisis Services Director Drew Martel tells KCRG-TV 9. “I think what we’ve got going on is this compounding effect of multiple stressors.”

He says at first people were looking for help after the storm on where to get ice, electricity and questions about who to call. Martel says it’s now shifted from survival needs to underlying mental health issues that may need attention moving forward.

“I think mixed in with the pandemic and the derecho is significant financial hardships for families, and that creates a perfect recipe for significant health-related issues,” Martel tells KCRG TV-9.

Martel says staying on routine whether eating or sleeping is important, but it goes deeper than that. “One thing that’s important, if you were worried about someone previously now is a really in important time to check in with them and possibly reach out for professional support.”

You can reach a crisis counselor by calling (319) 362-2174 in the Cedar Rapids area or 1-800-332-4224 anywhere else in Iowa.

(Photo from KCRG-TV 9)

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