Pearland - Friendswood | February 2020

HERE TOHELP There are several resources in the Pearland and Friendswood area in which residents can seek mental health assistance. This list is not comprehensive. CommunityHealthNetwork- Pearland FamilyHealth Center 281-824-1480 www.mychn.org Friendswood Counseling Center 281-819-7004 www.friendswoodcc.com UTMBHealthPsychiatry andBehavioral Sciences Clinics: 281-338-2798 Virtual support: Text “SUPPORT” to 37420 for 3 weekly messages TheMenninger Clinic 713-275-5400 www.menningerclinic.org Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 crisis line: call 800-273-8255 or text “TALK” to 741741 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

center’s caseloads are full. At least 100 new patients requested services in November and December who had to be referred elsewhere. While Ottis also attributed the vol- ume to holiday stressors, she said the waitlist shows an ongoing increase in need for mental health services. “I’m denitely looking to hire additional clinicians ... because we have the need, and we really want to be able to meet the needs of the com- munity,” she said. Group support Providers in Brazoria and Galveston counties said they hope community-centric interventions, from group therapy to support phone lines, can help residents make sustainable changes to their mental health moving forward. Community Health Network- Pearland Family Health Center oers primary care and behavioral health services, including individual and group counseling as well as psychia- try services. In 2019, the CHN locations in Bra- zoria, Galveston and Harris counties provided behavioral health services to 16,585 patients. The patient load increased almost 53% between 2019

and 2020 to 25,375 patients, per CHN data. The demand for services increased again in 2021, with CHN providing behavioral health services to 35,843 individuals last year. Additionally, CHN provided men- tal health services to more patients in the month of January than any other month; 3,400 patients were served—7.5% of which were in Pearland ZIP codes, said Ezreal Garcia, CHN director of community relations and emergency prepared- ness. He said he does not see it slowing down anytime soon. “Just because an emergency situ- ation dissipates or is eventually no longer in existence doesn’t mean that the trauma is [not] necessar- ily prevalent,” he said. “Some indi- viduals may be more … prepared or willing to come in to see counseling services because they can recognize those early onset challenges, [but] most individuals are not.” He said this can happen for a vari- ety of reasons, including the person may not have the time or capacity to evaluate their mental health or they may not be comfortable seeing a mental health specialist. CHN oers individual and group counseling as well as psychiatry

services in person and virtually. Although CHN oered telehealth prior to the pandemic, Garcia said virtual visits made up 85%-95% of patient visits in 2020. Now, virtual visits make up about 65%-70% of mental health-related visits, he said. Meanwhile, UTMB has a text- based support service in which subscribers receive three weekly messages. Temple said these can be useful for substance use disorder tips and motivation. For those hesitant to reach out for support, Ottis said help is avail- able for those looking to reduce their symptoms and live a happier and healthier life. “Asking for help is denitely not a sign of weakness; it’s actually a sign of strength, and it takes courage and vulnerability to reach out,” she said. “So I would encourage anyone who was having any type of struggle to not feel like, oh, it’s too big or this is too small to reach out for us for assis- tance or help with.” Kelly Schaer contributed to this report.

Yes toYouth 24/7 hotline: 888-756-8682 www.sayyestoyouth.org

SOURCES: COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK, FRIENDSWOOD COUNSELING CENTER, MEMORIAL HERMANN NORTHEAST MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CLINIC, THE MENNINGER CLINIC, SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE, YES TO YOUTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

For more information, visit communityimpact.com.

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PEARLAND  FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2022

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