mental health

Mental Health Needs Rising as Churches and Professionals Try to Provide Resources

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Omar Aguilar is director of religious education at Mary Immaculate Church in Farmers Branch.

"Mental health challenges are a real deal, are real issues,” Aguilar said. “Now more than ever we are seeing an increase in some of these situations."

The congregation has lost six members to suicide since the spring.

Aguilar works as a mental health first aider for the church. He’s training others to be a resource for any parishioners in need.

"We will not diagnose,” Aguilar said. “We will not treat these people. But none the less we will be there in the forefront. We'll be the ones receiving them and meeting with them for the first time and hopefully, we can help them get the proper help they need."

It’s a need professional mental health organizations are seeing rise as well.

"Mental health care is health care and we want people to be taking care of their minds, their body, and their hearts," Chief Clinical Officer for Metrocare Services Kelli Laos said.

"We're seeing an increase in need for mental health services in both kids, adolescents, and adults primarily due to the pandemic," Laos added.

Since it's something that can affect anybody, she shared these warning signs.

"That they're not interested in the same things they were interested in,” Laos said. “They are having a hard time getting out of bed. They are not sleeping as well. Whatever the case may be that's the time to seek help before it becomes a crisis situation."

She says you have to take that first step to reach out for help because it is out there.

"It does exist in every community,” Laos said. “There is an effort to make those services more known and easily available, but they are there."

Laos added, “We encourage you to reach out and access those services again especially before you get into a crisis situation because you can feel better. This can get better you just need the help.”

The Metrocare Crisis line is 214-743-1215. To learn more about their services click here.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. To learn more click here.

Here are other mental health resources:

North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

National Alliance on Mental Illness North Texas

My Health My Resource of Tarrant County

Texas Health and Human Services

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