National crisis centers link uptick in calls to election; local centers do not

Article by WNCT-TV
By Zora Stephenson
Published: November 15, 2016, 5:20 pm | Updated: November 15, 2016, 6:57 pm

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Suicide hotlines across the country have seen an uptick in calls since President-elect Donald Trump’s win last week, but crisis centers in eastern North Carolina are not blaming the rise on the election.

“A lot of the calls that we receive are for individuals that are experiencing depression; increased anxiety,” said Brigida Morris, Integrated Family Services.

WNCT interviews Bridget MorrisIn the past two weeks, calls for service at a number mobile crisis centers have surpassed those of October.

National hotlines said the increase in calls has a direct connection to the election, but Morris said she has seen no concrete evidence of that being the case locally.

“We don’t really know why we’re seeing this trends,” said Morris. “We haven’t been able to track a specific reason.”

Psychotherapist Leon Johnson said why he thinks more people are reaching out.

“Because of the election I’m sure that has some contributing factor, but I don’t think it’s the end all be all,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the holidays stress people out and calls are always up this time of year. With the addition of election stresses, Johnson said elevated calls should not be a surprise.

“This time of year we tend to worry,” said Johnson. “The election was something else that made people worry even more.”

Morris said although they don’t know why more people are calling, it is not necessarily a bad thing

“We definitely look at the elevated calls as being that our approach (of) getting out in the community is working,” Morris said. “We are educating people on mobile crisis services, and hopefully we are reducing the necessary linkage with the hospitals and those types of services.”

Both Johnson and Morris said it’s better to reach out for help than internalize any negative feelings you have.

To contact Integrated Family Services mobile crisis team, call 1-866-437-1821. For more information, see the Mobile Crisis Team page.

Posted in Community, Mental Health, Services