Western Colorado Wildfires Affecting Mental Health

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Anxiety and depression are already heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so to add the Western Colorado wildfires into the mix can be overwhelming for some. But luckily, Mind Springs Health can help.

The constant burning of the blaze has caused most daily routines to change. People who used to go for runs or walks, or even garden, in order to reduce stress are struggling to do that now. In addition, health experts from Mind Springs Health say that the unpredictability of the wildfires bring, not only uncertainty, but fear to our lives. So, in response, we may feel some emotional distress.

Dr. Amy Gallagher, a licensed psychologist, says that it is not uncommon for some people to be feeling a bit more anxious than usual, and some people may be feeling sad or depressed. However, she offers some ways to help relieve that stress and anxiety. Dr. Gallagher says, “Deep breathing can be really important for folks. It helps to re-regulate ourselves.” She adds that chatting with a professional or a friend can help as well.

Mind Springs Health offers a mental health support line you can call if you are feeling overwhelmed. Michelle Hoy from Mind Springs Health says the hotline is not the same as therapy; it is more of a supportive contact to chat about what is really bugging you.

The Mind Springs Health hotline is a free service available to everyone of all ages. Anyone experiencing a mental health issue should call the hotline at 1-877-519-7505, and a psychologist or peer specialist will immediately be on the other end of the call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The phone number to the Colorado Crisis Service Hotline is 1-844-493-8255, or you can text TALK to 38255.

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