As calls to crisis hotlines spikes amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain

As calls to crisis hotlines spikes amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain
Posted on Jun 15 2020
USA Today
NAMI mentioned

The man on the other end of line, released from prison when the pandemic hit, battled mental illness and substance use. Desperate, he dialed the NAMI HelpLine, a free, nationwide support service for people who live with mental health conditions. “The guy was scared out of his mind,” recalled Ron Honberg, a volunteer peer support specialist, because several residents at the recovery home had contracted COVID-19. Honberg has answered countless calls in recent months that share a similar theme. The dramatic increase is straining the volunteers who support callers’ mental and emotional health even as the pandemic takes a toll on their own lives. NAMI HelpLine manager Quinn Anderson teaches her staff to imagine a swift stream flowing between themselves and callers that washes away emotional distress, and to take a break to relax as soon as they feel tense. The work is not all stressful. Helping others feel at peace and offering hope can be immensely rewarding.