SAN ANTONIO - – Doctors throughout University Health watched as their patients and community members struggled mentally through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It spurred internal conversations throughout the system and beyond.
“We knew the pandemic was causing distress for a lot of people, ranging from insomnia to suicidal thoughts. We wanted to provide information that would succinctly outline options for crisis services, outpatient services and inpatient services. I wanted to make sure that people knew what to look out for in themselves and others, including children, and to reach out if they were in a crisis and not wait,” said Dr. Sally Taylor, senior vice president & chief of behavioral medicine for University Health.
On Monday, University Health launched a new resource page, offering an all-in-one place for people to look for assistance.
It includes sections on crisis services for things like suicide hotlines, substance abuse issues, and domestic violence help.
There are options for both in-patient and out-patient services. It also has a section on child psychiatry resources.
Taylor and her staff created the list and vetted the information through community partners like Bexar County Behavior Health Department.
Experts from these agencies acknowledge the bravery it takes for people to reach out for mental health assistance, but say many never end up getting that help because they don’t know where to go.
“We are seeing the effects of the pandemic, especially as things have started opening up and people might feel safer coming in for treatment. Mental health has gotten more media attention and that’s a good thing. Hopefully, people are realizing it’s OK to ask for help,” Taylor said.
She hopes resource pages like this will help direct the community to the strong programs that already exist to help them.