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

LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
3 days ago
Officer Casey Burton saved a man from a drug overdose in Liberty Park with Naloxone. (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

‘He was super thankful’: Police officer saves man from overdose at Liberty Park

Liberty Park is a busy place as the weather warms. Tuesday an alert Salt Lake City Police Officer came across a man who was struggling to stand. The officer was in the right place to save a man from a drug overdose.
1 month ago
Rylin Adams...
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

Elite Utah athlete talks about her struggles with mental health

Athletes are disciplined, strong-willed, and dedicated but they don’t always have it all together.
1 month ago
FILE: In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 ...
Larry D. Curtis

TikTok and social media can distort mental health information for teens

Teens, just like adults can find themselves scrolling through video after social-media video. The billion — yes billion — users on TikTok are primarily teens and some mental health professionals have stated the platform is negatively impacting the mental health crisis.
1 month ago
The SafeUT app provides real-time crisis intervention for people in immediate distress....
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Experts: SafeUT app has helped thwart threats at Utah schools

The SafeUT app was launched more than five years ago as a response to a public health crisis with suicide. That app has also helped thwart violent attacks at schools.
1 month ago
Members of the community gather at a City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a...
KSL TV

Psychologist gives advice for parents to talk to children about school shootings

Outrage and heartbreak have gripped the country after 19 children and two adults were massacred at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Mental Health Demands Of Pandemic Taking Toll On Counselors