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Pandemic Raises Suicide Risk

Andy Robins

Stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on mental health for some people. And that's raising concern about suicide rates.

Maricela Alcalá is the CEO of Gryphon Place in Kalamazoo. It runs the area's suicide prevention program. Alcalá says calls through the national hotline have increased since the pandemic began. But she's glad that people in distress are reaching out for support.

“We are seeing people who are struggling more with their mental health, the isolation the uncertainty right really putting a toll on people, stress and life’s challenges.”

Alcalá says it's good that people who need help are seeking help.

“Many times, people just need to talk. They might be going through a really difficult time and sometimes being able to let out what they’re feeling inside helps. We hear so many times at the end of the call, they say, 'I feel so much better after talking to you.'”

The Gryphon Place hotline at 269-381-HELP (4357) is available 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. There are also virtual support groups.