AP NEWS

Military families are seeking more mental health services

May 6, 2020 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Mental health experts say that military families and veterans are reaching out more for assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday that clinicians providing help online have seen requests skyrocket.

Sarah Pitzen, the lead clinician at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center in Virginia Beach, said staff have had to provide additional support to current clients because their “pre-existing conditions had worsened.”

Pitzen said they’re also seeing a rise in risks associated with domestic violence, suicide, child abuse and drug and alcohol addiction. They’re also seeing more stress, anxiety and depression.

“There’s just an increased need for connection, to be quite honest,” she said. “Even at intake, clients are really testing the waters. They might not want to come in for behavioral health services per se, but they want that connection. So we’ve made a pivot at intake to explain the benefits of telehealth, that they would be connected to people face to face.”