While the pandemic continues to take its toll on the mental health of many, the onset of winter weather, less daylight, and stress over election results adds to the fatigue many Montanans are already feeling.
Jackie Gittins with Voices Of Hope and the Montana Suicide Crisis Hotline says their Great Falls office continues to see high call volumes. They've seen traffic double on their hotlines and Gittins said it's a combination of several things.
The Covid pandemic continues to be a repeated theme; in March they helped connect callers to essential services. They're still providing ways to get in touch with key resources, but Gittins is also seeing more people call in with general frustrations and pandemic-related coping crises.
Voices Of Hope is also taking calls focused on seasonal depression and election concerns.
Gittins said many residents confined to their homes have nowhere to turn to after a stressful political season. “Sometimes it's just letting them vent because of covid they're isolated so they haven't got to vent to their buddies and friends and coworkers about the election,” she said. “Not that we want them to be arguing but it was a place to communicate with each other. They don't have that."
Gittins says when it comes to any big stresses in your life, one thing they’ve suggested to callers is writing down your fears and concerns and then voicing them out loud to yourself.
If you are feeling suicidal or have a loved one who is in a suicidal crisis, please call Voices Of Hope at 406-453-4357 and one of their trained crisis intervention specialists will help you.
Another option if you or someone you know is considering suicide: call 1-800-273-8255 or text 'HOME' to 741741.