JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - While the COVID-19 pandemic can linger on our physical and mental health, Mid-South Health Systems and the Arkansas Department of Health have teamed up to provide a COVID-19 Support Group.
The free, anonymous group works to help those with the virus, people who have recovered from it, and to help healthcare workers who battle it every day.
All four crisis stabilization units across Arkansas offer the support group, including the unit in Craighead County.
It all started when the need for mental health discussion surrounding COVID-19 arose. The support group started in April.
Not a single person has utilized the free help, according to Director of Crisis and Forensic Services for Mid-South Health Systems, Kimberley Boyett.
She says the group helps anyone with those types of issues.
“It’s provided by mental health professionals, but it is not a treatment group,” she says. “This is a secure, safe setting, an anonymous setting where people can call in or video in and talk about what they’re struggling with.”
Boyett says mental health should be accounted for at all times, especially during the pandemic.
“A lot of people are under a tremendous amount of stress, an unprecedented amount of stress,” she says. “People that have never struggled with mental health problems before are now suddenly experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. They may need to reach out and have some help with that. We’re happy to provide the service.”
Registration takes one phone call to the crisis stabilization unit. You can call 870-972-4021, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
You then will provide an email account to the receptionist with further instructions.
If you do not have an email account, they will provide you with a phone number to call in and use during the group’s meeting time.
The COVID-19 Support Group meets Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. through the optional phone call or video conference.
Boyett says the group has the availability to expand.
“If we grow it and we need to offer more, we can do that too,” she says.