Health officials discuss mental health, addiction services


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Health officials discussed the mental health and addiction services available to the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“If you think of human beings, we’re made to be social creatures and it’s really difficult the longer that isolation goes on,” Chief of Clinical & Forensic Services Kimberly Butler said. Butler said there is an increase of people dealing with depression and anxiety as the NY PAUSE order keeps us all away from each other.

“We’re thinking about the spectrum and the world as we know it right now with COVID and we see the increase of folks experience with depression and anxieties.”

Substance Use Planning and Implementation Specialist Jason Teller said that there is also an uptick in the number of overdoses typical for this time of year. Teller said that all of the services available to those struggling with addiction are still open; inpatient, outpatient, open access, detox are all still open and available to those who need it.

“We are offering now weekly virtual Narcan training Thursdays at 2 p.m,” Teller said. Those interested can register on the Monroe County website and receive a zoom invitation.

“The antidote to any kind of behavioral health condition is connection, and person to person connection is difficult now but virtual connection is possible.”

Butler talked about the emphasis of physical distancing instead of “social distancing.” She said it would be beneficial to change the wording and helping people realize that they are not alone during the pandemic.

“We need each other and the more that we can stay connected and call and check in on individuals is something that’s going to allow us to realize that we are in this together.”

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