It’s a stressful time for many families in Green Country and experts say that could mean an increase in abuse and suicide.
"We have a lot of people in disarray right now not being able to make normal contacts, have normalcy in relationships and some are very stressed about the finances and if they’ll even have a job when things are back to normal. So, a lot of critical factors are in place right now that can cause disharmony in families and things to disrupt," said Christine Marsh, Family and Children's Services senior director of child abuse and trauma services.
1 in 5 child abuse cases is reported by a school professional and now with school out for the rest of the year, cases could go unreported, especially, with the stress on families at an unprecedented level.
"The first and biggest concern is isolation in general. We know that when families have things going on, the stress is high and tensions are high that people can isolate and then be in a situation where children wouldn’t be able to be seen by others and then people wouldn’t be able to report the abuse. The same goes for others like domestic violence and what-not," Marsh said.
Family and Children Services is expanding their telehealth operations providing video chat opportunities and phone calls with therapists.
The calls are for just about any type of issue from parents at their wits end to addiction and suicide.
"Often times when people start talking about things when they’re at that critical point, that crisis point it can certainly bring that crisis down and it could actually prevent additional harm from happening," Marsh said.
Marsh says if you're worried about a family in crisis, call them, text or FaceTime.
She says that communication can save lives.
If you are worried about your own mental health, your family's mental health or both, start a routine.
"We're really recommending that people get outside, make sure they try to have a regular sleep routine, waking up routine just to get some of those routines in place and maybe a regular playtime with their kids or activity time with their kids so that kids aren’t having to wonder when they can talk to mom or dad if they’re trying to work from home," Marsh said.
24/7 COPES Crisis Hotline: 918-744-4800
24/7 COPES COVID Emotional Support Hotline: 918-744-4800
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