Mental Health Calls on Rise

Putnam reports threefold increase

Putnam County’s 211 mental health phone line, which usually receives about 30 calls a month, in August fielded 100 calls, the commissioner of social services told legislators on Sept. 10.

Michael Piazza said many of the calls were from residents already receiving mental health treatment but who felt a need to talk to someone quickly, he said.

“We’re aware of a lot of distress” among the public, including parents of school children, who in turn pick up the tension their elders experience over jobs, paying rent and providing food, as well as fears about COVID-19, Piazza said.

Returning to school each autumn is usually somewhat unsettling to students, he said, but “what’s it like to go back when you’ve been out for six months?”

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