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Pandemic Worsens Mental Health

Physical isolation, economic stress, and pre-existing anxiety and depression have led people to make a record number of calls to mental health helplines in Wisconsin. Crisis calls from people who were having suicidal thoughts doubled in Outagamie and Winnebago counties from Mid-March to Mid-April. Beth Clay, executive director of Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection in Appleton, says the pandemic has created a perfect storm of risk factors for deaths by suicide. Health providers are also concerned that people with substance abuse disorders are relapsing. Dr. Chris Eberlein of La Crosse County says, “We have seen a 50 percent increase in overdose deaths since COVID has started in our county.”

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