As impacts from the terrible acts committed in New York, California and Texas are being felt throughout the country, the State of Vermont is reminding Vermonters of the mental health resources available to them.
With a global COVID-19 pandemic and national and international turmoil, people have been exposed to extended stress, disruption and trauma. When coupled with the terrible acts witnessed over the past month, many Vermonters may be feeling emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration and grief.
Help is available to all Vermonters experiencing mental health challenges of any kind. Reaching out for support is a vital part of stabilizing wellbeing during tremendously challenging times.
The following resources can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
• Counselors are available through the Crisis Text Line. Anyone who texts “VT” to 741741 will be connected to a trained professional.
• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available. They can provide coping strategies and de-escalation techniques for anyone experiencing mental distress. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for an online chat option.
• Vermont has a network of community mental health providers. Dial 211 to access the nearest provider.
• Pathways Vermont provides a free support line to all Vermonters. Individuals can call or text (833) VT – TALKS / (833) 888-2557 to speak with local, trained, peer supports who have been through challenging situations themselves and are available to listen and provide non-judgmental insight.
• Individuals with substance use challenges can call VT Helplink at 802-565-LINK (5465) or visit VTHelplink.org. Support and referral services are available for anyone who is experiencing, or knows someone experiencing, difficulties with substance use.
Part of the challenge is a general feeling of powerlessness. Know that there are actions you can take as an individual. Reach out to people around you, especially people who may be isolated or alone, or if you are feeling isolated and alone. Offer to cook a meal, babysit, or clean for someone who may be overwhelmed.
Other things you could do include picking up groceries for someone, running errands, or having quiet time with people over tea or coffee. These actions can help the giver and receiver, increase community connection, and reduce feelings of personal helplessness.
There are many methods used to soothe, help, and be helped. Whether it’s contacting a professional or peer counseling service, or reaching out to friends, family, or community members, know that you are not alone.