Crisis fatigue: Series of stressful events leave Oklahomans emotionally overwhelmed, seeking mental health help at higher rates

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Crisis fatigue… Something probably all of us are experiencing. The buildup of stress from one major blow to another has left many in a state of exhaustion.

“They’ve lost their job. Covid is going on. They don’t have heat. They don’t have power,” said Ariel Joseph, metro regional program director at Red Rock Behavioral Health Services.

Stress, and a lot of it, is causing Oklahomans to seek help.

“We’re really seeing that people are coming in more frequently, more often,” said Joseph. “They’re coming in sooner, instead of turning to a treatment provider as their last resort.”

It’s a new territory for everyone, including health care providers.

“When I went to school, no one taught me how to be a therapist in a pandemic,” said Joseph.

Joseph said right now, there is a focus on having honest and genuine conversations with clients about our current climate.

“Really, just being transparent with them, of, ‘yeah, this is really hard. This is really challenging. I feel it, too,'” said Joseph.

In the midst of it all, mental health leaders want you to know that they are here for you.

At Red Rock Behavioral Health Services, virtual and in person assistance is available. Walk-ins are welcome, but people can also schedule appointments by calling 405-424-7711. The Red Rock staff also run a crisis line. That phone number is 405-987-7625.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) also has resources available.

“There’s certainly the Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK that people can call and they can get links to services. They can ask questions. There are people available 24/7,” said Jeff Dismukes, director of communications at ODMHSAS.

ODMHSAS also has resources available for other areas.

“Anything having to do with covid, links to other resources in the community for food, for rent, for assistance with job searches, but also with links to local behavioral health services, mental health and substance abuse services, you can call 2-1-1 or 1-800-522-9054,” said Dismukes. “We’re going to be able to link you with somebody. Again, 24/7, and get you the help that you need.”

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