HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Mental Health Demands Of Pandemic Taking Toll On Counselors

Nov 18, 2020, 9:10 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm

LOGAN, Utah – Therapists are working hard to keep up and see more people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but hearing about it can impact them emotionally as well.

The virus, the economy and isolation all have people seeking more help, even if the underlying problem is not the pandemic.

Intake numbers for Bear River Mental Health over the last two months are up about 150% and it is not a problem unique to the Cache Valley.

“Anytime you add an additional stressor in the community, in the nation, it’s just going to add another layer of stress,” said Dr. Tom Roskos, one of 40 therapists at Bear River Mental Health Services, which covers Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties.

Dr. Tom Roskos with Bear River Mental Health. (KSL-TV)

Their work can impact therapists too.

“Compassion fatigue, burnout, having a lot of consecutive sessions where people are having a really hard time can collectively erode even the best therapists,” Roskos said.

It means the staff has depended even more on each other, though they can’t always do it in person.

Nurse practitioner Curtis Child with Bear River Mental Health. (KSL-TV)

“A lot of people are having problems with depression, anxiety, that seem to be worse since they’ve had isolation from their normal daily life,” said nurse practitioner Curtis Child.

As the pandemic continues, they’re likely to see even more of that.

“When you work in public mental health, we see some pretty difficult cases,” Beth Smith, president and CEO of Bear River Mental Health.

Smith said they want to add more counselors over the coming months but it’s difficult to find those with experience.

“Therapists are not invincible,” said Bear River Mental Health CEO Beth Smith. (Mike Anderson/KSL-TV)

They will have to take care of the staff.

“Therapists are not invincible,” Smith said.

The news is not all bad. Through the struggle, they are seeing people adapt and find ways to overcome.

“It’s very helpful as a mental health professional to hear all this resilience that comes out while people are having a difficult time,” Roskos said.

Thanks to federal CARES funding, they have seen more than their typical Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Smith said they are also getting money for a mobile response team that will be able to help people in crisis, onsite.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

Parent Kristen Pexton said the SHARP survey gave an insight into what's happening with her teenager...
Mike Anderson

How helpful is Utah’s SHARP survey? Parents have just days to give input

Utah parents have one more week to give their feedback on the State Board of Education's decision to pull its support for the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey, otherwise known as SHARP.
2 months ago
...
Jed Boal

Love Hard Foundation making positive difference in Utah teens’ mental health

The Love Hard Foundation was started in January to make a positive difference in the mental and emotional health of Utah teens. Each week, the nonprofit is getting more involved in schools and communities.
2 months ago
Carla Jones, center, was joined by her daughter and a friend at the Out of the Darkness Walk in Wes...
Debbie Worthen

‘We miss her’: Annual Out of the Darkness Walk helps raise awareness of suicide

A crowd of thousands, and nearly $250,000 raised — all for the fight against suicide at the annual Out of the Darkness Walk in West Jordan Saturday morning
3 months ago
...
Ashley Moser

New nationwide 988 suicide and crisis hotline sees success in Utah

The new three-digit hotline has seen a 35% increase in calls from the old 10-digit number year-to-year.
3 months ago
Dana Clemmer shares photos of her daughter Talyn with KSL's Ayanna Likens. (KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Life’s Worth Living Foundation supports those struggling with mental health and loss survivors

TOOELE, Utah — The Life’s Worth Living Foundation in Tooele has provided support for those struggling with their mental health and supporting them through the grief of losing a loved one. The foundation supported Deborah Bush after losing her son Jayden to suicide in January of 2021. “It’s definitely not easy,” Bush said. Jayden was […]
3 months ago
Intermountain healthcare launched a new mental health resource that will visit children and teens i...
Ayanna Likens

A new free mental health resource in Utah will visit children in their moment of crisis

Intermountain Healthcare launched a new mental health resource for children and teens. The Stabilization Mobile Response unit (SMR) is designed to go to your home in a discreet way to help your child in crisis. The service is free.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Mental Health Demands Of Pandemic Taking Toll On Counselors