From a Mental Health Call Line Worker
I am a program coordinator for the California Warm Line (CAWL), which is a call line for people living in California who are having mental health challenges and are looking for emotional support through empathy and validation. In the first month of the pandemic, calls increased by 70 percent. Many are COVID-19 related. Even if callers don’t have COVID-19, they’ve been affected by having to shelter in place, losing their housing and employment, feeling isolated, or lacking the ability to get resources and services. This all adds an extra layer of stress to dealing with their mental health. Overall, our calls are focused on helping people find their own coping abilities and reflecting back how they can take care of themselves during this time.
I think this crisis highlights the lack of care our society puts on mental health. During this time, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has put the CAWL on the government front page as a major resource for people experiencing emotional distress. Many folks are without proper mental health care, and have nowhere to turn. I think this pandemic has pushed society to take a look at ourselves, and at what we can provide for each other emotionally. After all, we are all in the same crisis.
We are happy to provide the service for anyone who needs it (in California only) and are able to redirect to other national warm lines. No one is in this alone.
Featured image credit: Dan Meyers / Unsplash