Charlotte, NC – In these uncertain and trying economic times, more and more of us are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness. Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities Services, has seen a record number of inquiries -- a 25% increase in call volume -- over the last few months requesting mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services.
To meet the ever-growing concerns around the impact of skyrocketing jobless rates and the economic crisis, Area Mental Health would like to remind citizens that it is important to reach out and ask for help when stress, anxiety, depression and alcohol and substance abuse become emotional and behavioral challenges.
MeckLINK is Mecklenburg County’s central call center for mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disability service referrals. MeckLINK will assess immediate needs and refer individuals to local providers that can help. Citizens can contact MeckLINK at 704-336-6404. Additionally, Area Mental Health contracts with a Mobile Crisis Team that can be dispatched to wherever mental health crises occur in the community. The Mecklenburg County Mobile Crisis Team phone number is 704-566-3410.
Area Mental Health Deputy Director Carlos Hernandez says the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression (the most common reactions to stress) are often intermixed. “Often, while looking for emotional equilibrium, people will look for relief in the wrong places: overindulgence of alcohol, other substances and other high risk behaviors,” Hernandez says.
Overall, emotional reactions to high levels of stress can be intense, frightening and debilitating. It is important at moments like these to seek professional assistance.
Don’t wait another day hoping that you or someone you love will simply “snap out of it.”
Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health manages the public mental health system in Mecklenburg County which includes screening, assessing, and referring consumers to appropriate service providers in the community. For help and information, the public can contact the Area Mental Health call center, MeckLINK, at 704-336-6404 or visit http://Mecklink.Charmeck.org. Referrals made in English and Spanish.