Mental Illness and Addiction Aren’t Taking a Break

Philip Eaton

A time of sheltering at home can be particularly difficult for individuals struggling with mental health or substance use disorders. The World Health Organization had predicted that there would be greater demand for services during the pandemic, and we at Rosecrance have definitely seen this to be accurate.

A recent study shows that substance abuse has increased during the COVID</span-19 public health emergency. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), calls to the disaster distress hotline increased 891 percent from March 2019 to March 2020.

As we are all managing our own levels of stress and anxiety, individuals struggling with mental health and substance use disorders experience those emotions on a much greater level and need engagement immediately. Assessment and treatment should not be delayed once the decision has been made to manage their disease, and resources must be available to quickly define an individualized plan.

While other healthcare facilities have been forced to incur reductions in force to maintain their businesses, Rosecrance has remained committed to fully staffing our treatment sites. Our strict infection control protocols have been enhanced, and COVID-19 screening is in place to ensure the health and safety of our staff, clients, and families.

Obtaining PPE has been a well-documented and significant challenge. Rosecrance orders that were placed several weeks ago are finally arriving and being distributed. More supplies are expected, and we are planning not only for the current situation, but looking to the future needs, as well.

Rosecrance operates 60 sites in three states, and each day we hear the gratitude that we are still open, answering the phones, and can do assessments to help people receive behavioral health treatment right away. When a loved one needs treatment, a safe facility with experienced, compassionate clinicians and expanded infection control protocols is the best environment for recovery. Our dedicated team of health care professionals is watching over every client to give them the best opportunity for lasting recovery. Today, and every day.

Especially during this uncertain time, I’m so grateful to our committed professionals who are showing up and stepping up every single day. Because of them, lives are being saved. I am not at all surprised, but I am immensely proud.

If a friend or loved one is struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, do not delay the decision. Seek help. Today.

Phil Eaton is CEO of Rosecrance Health Network.