Leonard notes mental health resources available

State Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) said many helpful mental health resources are available to Hoosiers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many people are feeling uneasy and stressed right now, and that's understandable,” said Leonard. “Those already struggling with a mental illness are having a hard time navigating these unprecedented circumstances, and there are resources available to help.”

Leonard said an easy way to find local mental health resources is to call 2-1-1. The free service quickly connects callers to support near their homes and is available 24/7. Hoosiers can also contact their doctor or health insurance provider about access to telehealth options for counseling and emotional support.

According to Leonard, social distancing and staying home may exacerbate addiction issues for those in recovery from substance abuse because they may not have access to their typical healthy coping methods. Anyone struggling can call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to get referrals for treatment at state-approved agencies and connections to support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Shelters have reported an increase in domestic violence since the stay-at-home order was issued. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-332-7385, and is online at icadvinc.org where Hoosiers can seek help and find nearby programs and services.

Leonard said for some, social distancing can trigger feelings of loneliness and suicidal thoughts. Those experiencing emotional distress can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit SuicidePrevention Lifeline.org for confidential support.

“Staying connected to loved ones is important now more than ever, and I encourage everyone to reach out when they are feeling lonely to those in their lives that can listen and support them,” said Leonard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers comprehensive guidance on coping with stress. Tips include keeping a routine, staying connected with family and friends, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. More information can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Stay updated on what Indiana is doing to address COVID-19 by visiting IN.gov/coronavirus.