ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced a new mental health initiative on Monday.
“This year our idea of normal has been turned upside down. For nearly a quarter of the year we’ve spent time in our homes with little interaction with family members other than our household, little interaction with our coworkers or our friends. And this social interaction is an important part of who we are and it’s been sidelined,” Page said.
“The fear of a new virus, the anxiety of a wobbly economy, canceling milestones such as weddings, graduations or reunions has left us out of sync.”
Adapting to lifestyle changes on top of what Page called a new civil rights movement has taken a toll on people’s mental health.
“To see thousands take the streets – black and white families, marching side by side - gives us promise and hope, a hope perhaps the death of George Floyd was not in vein. That maybe the death of Mr. Floyd may be turning point in our country, where black lives do matter to everyone,” Page said.
The United Way of Greater St. Louis St. Louis Mental Health Board teamed up for a new resource for those who want to see a mental health professional.
The program provides help, only a few seconds away, according to Page.
Serena Muhammad, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the St. Louis Mental Health Board said you do not need to be in crisis to contact the ‘211’ line. Dial 2-1-1 and press ‘1’ for the Behavioral Health Response organization.
“If you’re not feeling like yourself, call 2-1-1,” she said during Page’s briefing.
There’s also a special number for youth in the St. Louis area to contact – youth can text ‘BHEARD’ to 3-1-6-5-8 for help.
Muhammad said there has been an increase in calls in the St. Louis area from 2019 to this year. In 2019, the 2-1-1 line receive 1,400 calls and that number is now at 3,500 so far this year.
- Care for Your Virus Anxiety: Partnership between Mental Health America and Shine to provide a vetted mental health toolkit including articles, meditations, access to experts, anxiety screenings, and more Please contact 314-628-2929 for Telehealth counseling options that have been implemented due to COVID-19.
- (314/888) 644-5886
- 314 531-2003
- Domestic Violence and Rape Hotline: 800 392-0210
- 1 800 811-4760 (hotline)
- Life Crisis-Suicide/Crisis Hotline: 314 647-4357
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800 273-TALK (8255)
- Hopeline Network: 1 800 SUICIDE (784-2433)
- Mid-Missouri Crisis Line: 1 888 761-4357 or text “HAND” to 839863
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 24/7, 365-day-a- year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. 1 800 985-5990
“People are using the resource for lots of reasons,” she said.
During Page’s briefing he was asked about the viral video that shows a Florissant police officer hitting a man with a SUV.
“This video is certainly alarming,” he said. “I believe the Florissant Police Department will manage it appropriately.”
“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of cameras on law enforcement and citizen interaction to review,” Page said.
Page has been holding three weekly briefings since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
CORONAVIRUS IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY
The county is now testing more than 1,000 residents for the coronavirus daily.
On June 8, bars in St. Louis County can reopen. There will be several new protocols in place.
The guidelines ask for establishments to install a Plexiglas barrier if customers will directly be ordering from a bartender - table service is recommended.