Mental health resources available to Vermonters struggling during pandemic

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Mental health was an over-arching theme of the governor’s COVID-19 press briefing Friday as the virus continues to take a toll on people from all walks of life.

“You’re not alone,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “These are reasonable, normal responses to a very abnormal event. It’s okay to admit this is taking a toll on you, it would be strange if it wasn’t.”

For those struggling with COVID-fatigue, depression, anxiety, or just the strain and stress COVID-19 is having on daily life, Commissioner of mental health Sarah Squirrel says there are free resources available. The state has launched a COVID Support VT hotline with trained counselors ready to speak with Vermonters.

“It’s OK to not be okay,” Squirrel said. “There are many valid reasons to be worried, overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. If these feelings are beginning to impact you, seeking help can be very supportive.”

So far–they have responded to nearly 750 calls. It can be reached by dialing 211. Long term care facilities remain a concern, an alert went out today informing them of a surveillance testing strategy which will start Monday, It includes twice weekly PCR tests for staff.

The governor says we could have a vaccine in hand as early as the end of this month and he remains optimistic about the future.

“We can see the finish line,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll get there. We’re all gonna have to work together in order to help each other and support each other along the way.”

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