Last Updated on April 10, 2020
As most of America is quarantined due to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, mental health hotlines have seen massive spikes in usage, according to several reports.
The Disaster Distress Helpline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is used by people who are emotionally disturbed by human-caused and natural disasters.
“In March, the helpline saw a 338% increase in call volume compared with February, according to spokesperson with the agency,” according to one report. “And compared to last year for the month of March, they had an 891% increase of calls.”
More than 27,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Nearly a half million people have tested positive for the virus.
Though no federal lockdown guidelines have been issued, states have taken it upon themselves to impose quarantines on residents in order to stop the virus from spreading.
Some mandates have been extreme.
A Friday report said that a Boston suburb is issuing fines for walking in the wrong direction on the street. The state of Michigan has now officially banned friends from visiting each other, meaning that residents cannot travel between private homes.
Meanwhile, small businesses around the country have shut down, many being deemed non-essential, which some economists fear could plunge the United States into a deep recession, if not a depression.
This week, nearly 7 million more Americans filed unemployment claims, bringing the total to nearly 17 million since the state lockdowns began.
Still, President Donald J. Trump remains optimistic, signaling that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the deadly virus.
“The Invisible Enemy will soon be in full retreat!” he said on Twitter early Friday morning.
If you or a loved one are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.