Mental health updates on the eastern shore
MARYLAND – Telehealth services, isolation and COVID-19, those are just a few trigger words mental health experts say they’ve heard over the past year. “The biggest issue was loneliness, loneliness issue is a big deal, loneliness is a significant health issue that is not really talked a lot about in this country,” says CEO of Lower Shore Clinic in Salisbury, Dimitri Cavathas.
A director at Balance Point Wellness in Salisbury says they’ve made use of telehealth services and don’t plan to return to a hybrid model until May 3. “Telehealth as a forced option is really difficult, it really has affected people in such different ways,” says Director Janine Leki.
Mental health experts in the area say, virtual services have provided an avenue to reach more community members, but it’s also enabled other issues. They say, the feeling of isolation has been a trending concern with their patients. Now they tell 47 ABC, their experiences with their patients during this time is paving the way for a new era of mental health focus in Maryland. “I think there can be a lot of growth out of a trauma like we’ve all experienced over the past year,” says team leader of outpatient services at Lower Shore clinic, Olivia Wackett.
Those with Lower Shore clinic also say, they’ve always been committed to helping patients deal with mental health. However, this past year added new challenges such as getting patients vaccinated, providing services outside of their facility, and helping them deal with new issues. “There can be a lot of things that patients and people in our communities didn’t realize is a need until this crisis happened,” says Wackett.
However, the experts we spoke with agree, this year is highlighting the needs within the community to continue correcting the stigma on mental health and allowing people to reach out for help. “I’m hoping that people now understand loneliness cause of the pandemic, everyone has experienced this now,” says Cavathas. Leki at Balance Point Wellness adds, “There’s just so many layers and so many different factors that are involved and I don’t think that all will just go away just because vaccinations are up.”
Health experts do say they have been actively providing the community with resources to help those struggling with mental health. They hope this year normalizes mental health and ways to deal with it.
If you are interested in any of the services each clinic provides you can click the links below.