Crisis Center receiving uptick in calls from people seeking support, experiencing stress during pandemic

As residents across the country continue to work from home and distance themselves from others, stress and anxiety can build up and could become tough to handle for many people.

Clara Reynolds with Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, said the strain of a change in lifestyle has been felt across the board, and the organization has seen a 33-percent increase in the number of calls. 

"We're getting more calls than usual, and those calls are really related to COVID-19," she told FOX 13.

She said the most common type of call is related to financial distress. the second is for emotional support. Reynolds added that as children head back to school -- virtually -- she anticipates an even higher volume of phone calls. 

"I think we're really starting to see that this week, with kids starting to learn remotely. We've got families all together. With the stay-at-home order, it has added an additional level of stress," Reynolds explained. "The stress level is going to go up as you have kids competing against parents for limited web access, and all of those kids of things."

She said there are some tips she offered to help ease the tension.

"The fear is real and we understand that, but we also have to make sure we're managing those fears and our expectations of ourselves," Reynolds said. "So what we recommend for individuals is make a plan, make some sort of routine for you and your family that you can rely upon. Routines are one of the best ways to reduce fear and anxiety."

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay also offered the following:

  • Limit the amount of news exposure that you're getting. Make a schedule, such as receiving a morning and evening update -- then turn it off. Reynolds suggests this if you find that you become more anxious the more you watch and listen about what's going on. 
  • Then, schedule time for play. Make time to get out, go for a walk, if you can, get some exercise, some fresh air
  • Try to keep everything in perspective. When talking about social distancing, it's really more about physical distancing. Try to stay as close as you possibly can to socializing, using technology to stay connected with a support circle and loved ones.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people not just in Tampa Bay, but across the country. Their hotline can be reached by dialing 211. 

"We know, we're all in this together, and that's what makes this a little bit different then some of the other crisis that we have seen," Reynolds said. "We're all in this together."