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Voice of the consumer: Feeling stressed? Help is out there

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Published: May. 18, 2020 at 7:08 AM MDT
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11 News lead Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

The coronavirus pandemic is stressful for all of us, but there is always help out there if you need it. The state’s crisis line has seen record numbers of phone calls since the pandemic began.

Colorado Crisis Services is a statewide hotline where you can talk to professionals 24/7 for support. The calls are free and confidential. The number to the crisis line is 844-493-8255 or you can text “TALK” to 38255.

Health officials tell me they recorded the highest call volume ever in March, with more than 21,000 calls. February and April followed closely behind and the state says the trend is continuing into May.

A lot of the calls are about concerns with finances and relationship stressors that stem from the pandemic, as well as anxiety and depression.

“A crisis like this pandemic can cause people to experience a greater sense of fear and feel more isolated than usual,” said Dr. Robert Werthwein, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health for the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, a lot of fears about death, not knowing when people are going back to work, when you’re getting a paycheck, worrying about health and family. It’s normal to feel stressed and worry about those.”

If you are struggling with some of the same issues, you may want to reach out for help.

“If it starts interfering with their ability to function, their ability to do normal activities, they should think about giving us a call on the crisis line,” said Werthwein. “If your thoughts are getting ahead of you … and it becomes extremely stressful, we want people to reach out.”

There are some steps you can take to help cope with the stress right now, it starts with a good night’s sleep.

“Sleep is important. Get quality sleep. It’s important for your body to rest and your mind to rest at night,” said Werthwein. “Watch your substance use. Make sure that your substance use is not to the point that you feel like you need them or have to have the substance.”

Again, please know that there is help out there if you need it.

Also, I want to remind you that we are still hearing of several scams related to the coronavirus pandemic, whether it’s online job scams, crooks trying to steal your stimulus check, or many, many others.

So, please be really cautious right now and trust your gut. If something sounds too good to be true, or doesn’t quite add up, then it’s probably a scam.

If you lost your job, you can reach out to the Colorado Department of Labor at 303-318-8000. If you would like to report a scam, fraud or price gouging, you can call the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at 800-222-4444.

to read the original column on gazette.com.

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