Mayor Fischer talks about need for mental health awareness during today’s tele town hall
Mayor Greg Fischer today discussed mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic during a tele town hall featuring experts from the mental health community.
“If you feel a little off-kilter, a little bluesy, a little depressed, a little anxious – that is totally normal,” the Mayor said. “The world hadn’t been upended quite like this before for almost everyone that's alive right now.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S.
Mayor Fischer invited family therapist Amanda Villaveces and Nancy Brooks, Louisville executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to talk about the need to care for your mind as well as your body during this uncertain time.
Even as the local health care system has thus far averted an overwhelming surge in COVID-19 cases and some activities are starting to resume, social and economic disruption could continue for some time to come.
“It’s a very difficult time and we have to recognize that,” the Mayor noted. “It’s just a lot to take in.”
Brooks said that calls to mental health crisis hotlines have increased by 60 percent nationwide, and that the isolation of two months of lockdown is taking a toll at both ends of the age spectrum – the elderly and the young.
“One sad statistic we're seeing is more youth attempting suicide, or visibly needing mental health services,” Brooks said. “The best thing any parent can do for that is to show their child love and to listen and to talk and keep that line of communication open.”
Villaveces said many people who initially felt OK with the lockdown and disruption are beginning to become anxious and panicked as the crisis drags on.
“There’s a lot of stuff out of our control,” Villaveces said. “While (these problems) still exist, focus back on the things that are under your control. I need to be refocusing on what’s within my circle of control. What can I control on a daily basis?”
With medical providers resuming non-urgent services and procedures that had been canceled during the early weeks of the pandemic, it’s important to seek help if you need it, Brooks said.
“People are experiencing more fear than we normally do. If you are not feeling well, you need to see a physician or a therapist and take your medication,” Brooks said. “You do not need to be letting your health go at this time.”
You can watch a replay of today’s tele town hall at www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.
As of Tuesday, there have been 58 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 2,067 with 1,290 recoveries. There have been three additional deaths since Monday. The confirmed Louisville total is 132.
Currently, 53 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 14 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
- 28 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 11 are “screened off” with symptoms and tested, or due to be tested, but have not received test results.
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 47 positive tests.
- 33 have fully recovered and returned to duty.
Metro Corrections inmate data for May 19:
- 573 inmates have been tested.
- 7 positives.
- 30 tests are pending.