City groups expand mental health resources after years of pandemic and protests | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Protests, pandemic, record of homicides, suicides and overdoses on the rise all of this damages Louisville’s sanity. But groups are making sure residents get the help they need.

Over the past two years, between working and learning from home and fearing the unknown, Dr Stephen Taylor, psychiatrist and UofL’s chief medical officer, says the pandemic has certainly been a traumatic situation.

“Thinking of it as trauma, I think it’s fair to say,” Taylor said during Mayor Greg Fischer’s weekly COVID-19 update.

That’s part of the reason Seven Counties Services is working to expand a program from Bullitt County to Jefferson, Henry, Trimble, Spencer, Shelby and Oldham counties. with a $2 million federal grant.

“We know how to do the treatment, we’ve never had the right funding to do this treatment,” said Abby Drane, president and CEO of Seven County Services.

The grant will reimburse the group for providing things like transportation so people who want help can get it. It will also pay better salaries to recruit experienced clinicians. As well as helping the group collect data over a two-year period to prove the impact of their services.

Drane said the protests that took place on the streets of Louisville in the summer of 2020 also heightened the need for mental health resources.

“From the very beginning, young people have been calling our crisis line, all over our city and region, with suicidal thoughts,” she said. “Thinking about how are we going to be able to grow and be good people in our community when we don’t know if this world is going to be here.

The mental health conversation is also something the city is tackling.

“Trauma has a very powerful impact on how we think, how we feel, and how we interact with each other,” Taylor said.

That’s why it was part of the mayor’s policy weekly COVID-19 update this week, promote getting help, and just talking about it,

“If people are able to talk about the trauma in their own way, at their own pace and at their own pace, the long-term prognosis is better than not talking about it at all,” Taylor said.

The state legislature also works to improve student welfare. The House unanimously passed a bill ensuring mental health-related absences are excused. The Senate will then vote.

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