Increased mental health support impacting the organization’s ability to keep pace

Demand for mental health support has skyrocketed recently, leaving some people calling a crisis line with no one free to take their call.

Klinic Community Health said it is seeing a significant increase in the need for mental health crisis support.

“We know that Manitobans are struggling and that the increase in calls is linked to many people suffering from anxiety, depression and relationship issues,” said Sophia Ali, Director of Mental Health and Intervention Services. emergency clinic.

Ali says the increased demand, coupled with fewer volunteers due to the pandemic, leaves some people on the other end of the crisis line with no one available to talk.

“We are struggling. We want to be there to meet the needs of our community. We know this is a difficult time. We want to do our best, but again, our resources are really limited.

Its crisis line generally receives between 130 and 150 calls a day.

A free mental wellness art center – Artbeat Studio – began to attract renewed interest in late January and early February.

“I feel like this is a time when people are just looking for something to do,” said Marissa Hoff, director of the art program. “It’s the change of seasons that is always a bit hard for people. With this influx of snow we have. But definitely, our space is full of people looking to create art, to create community together.

Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba (MDAM) executive director Rita Chahal says she is planning in-person programs.

“We’re going to listen to the community,” Chahal said. “We will see what the community asks for and adapt our programs.”

The association notes an increase in support needs for anxiety and depression, but also for eating disorders.

“There has been a huge increase in our body image and disordered eating programs, especially among young people,” said Andrea Smith, body image and disordered eating programming expert at MDAM.

Hoff sees how a sense of community makes a difference in people’s overall mental well-being.

“People are excited to share it with each other and encourage each other as well,” says Hoff.

Chahal expects mental health organizations to work together to meet the demand.

“I think the next two months will be an opportunity to really look at what the individual needs are and to be able to look at what resources are available in the community,” Chahal said.