In the past year, many women and girls experienced changes in their mental health and seeking support due to COVID-19. Isolation, along with fear and loss, has caused an increase in stress and anxiety among women. Unable to cope with the ongoing changes alone, many women sought help for mental health issues. In early November, Kathryn Power, the director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, said that there had been a 15 to 20 percent increase in calls from all demographics coming into their triage center.
Amid the pandemic and continuing to the states reopening, accessing behavioral healthcare has been a challenge. Many providers have been offering clients remote help through zoom, phone calls, email, and chat. Some clients take advantage of these remote options; others may not feel comfortable or access the internet. With the state reopening, some providers are beginning to see people in person once again. But, since the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, there are still restrictions on office visits. Another challenge is that many women also lost their jobs due to the pandemic and may not have insurance coverage for the visit.
Though it may appear challenging to find support during this time, it can be easy. Start by talking to a trusted friend, partner, or loved one. Then you can use one of the many helpful resources available. Below there is a list of credible mental health resources. Some resources may help you find a provider in your area; others can provide education and coping skills. There are even resources catered to women and girls.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page dedicated to coping with COVID-19 and the aftermath. - Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals: The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals has a webpage full of COVID-19 resources.
- girlshealth.gov: mental health resources for young women and girls on mental health and more.
- Mental Health During COVID-19: Signs Your Child May Need More Support: The American Academy of Pediatrics has an article that provides resources and information for young children to adolescents.
- The Providence Center: The Providence Center in Providence, Rhode Island, offers a wide variety of behavioral health services for adults, adolescents, and children.
- United Way: Anyone can call the number 211 24/7 and confidentiality to talk to an expert regarding information about local resources and services in your area. - Lifespan: Lifespan has treatment options for mental, emotional, and behavioral health across Rhode Island.
- Women & Infants: Women and Infants Hospital is located in Providence, RI, and includes a center for Women’s Behavioral Health.
- Psychiatric Emergency Services in Rhode Island: Lifespan has a page on their website that provides information on 24-hour Adult Psychiatric Emergency Services offered in Rhode Island. The page also includes contact information and directions.
- How to find help through seeing a psychologist: This article provides information on how and why speaking to a psychologist could help someone suffering from mental illness. - 60 Digital Resources for Mental Health: On the Social Work Licence Map’s website, you will find a comprehensive list of 60 digital resources for mental health. - American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator
Bio: Ella (she/her) is a senior at George Washington University Online High School. She also contributes to her school's online newspaper, the GW Chronicle.