Just when we all thought in the State of Illinois there was possibly a light at the end of the tunnel, it got a bit dimmer to be able to see the light at the end of it. Thinking that April 30th, might be at least a shimmer of it being at least a bit brighter. Many find the fluid nature of this health crisis and the influx of constant information one of the biggest stressors. Not knowing who Covid might take as it’s next victim, how the financial repercussions will affect their own household as well as how the shelter in place takes it toll on one's mental outlook.


By this point, the new has definitely worn out and the pandora box of repercussions that now glare at many in the mirror besides the need of a hairdresser are apparent.


Suggestions in the last article “Physician heal thyself” came forth from mental health providers in our area to assist in maintaining equilibrium in this turbulent time. To continue this, several area providers were surveyed to gather their thoughts and services to aid the community to know of resources available. We will be featuring other resources as well in the future.


Jasper County Health Department is blessed to have a broad wealth of excellent mental health staff. For a small town, they have a power house of resources, as well as, not just one site, but their behavior unit has a satellite office now in Richland county as well now. They provided these outstanding suggestions, “ During this time of social distancing sometimes difficult to maintain positive emotions. We are encouraging individuals to reach out for help when they need it. Reaching out to people you trust via phone, email, texting, skype, and facetime are great ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom.”


Would add this to be very true, as my daughter and I look forward to my two year old grandson’s often numerous interment FaceTime calls, as he now knows how to use the phone. Birthdays were a huge challenge this year, with a teen. So instead of doing the Big Bang birthday, we did little things from the beginning of the month till the day of my daughter’s birthday. By making it more simplistic but very special the loss of not having family and friends was replaced by kind gestures. By being creative and thoughtful, we can bridge those gaps in these days and possibly in the coming months, we don’t have a crystal ball, that is part of walking this tight rope.


Jasper as well as many health departments and wellness groups are giving their information out for new innovative measures to reach their clients and new ones as well. Jasper County Health Department can be reached at 618-783-4154. They have counselors and therapists available Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm to provide support to the people of our community. They are here to help you to better cope with stressors that could result from COVID-19, such as experiencing job loss, depression, anxiety, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, or anger. We are providing telehealth services (phone and video sessions via zoom/email) to serve our community while reducing exposure or risk. If one is wanting a Richland County appointment, call the Newton number to make one however. After hours you can call 618-783-8477 or 911 in case of an emergency. Other wellness and departments are to assist in the same manner.


Clay County has also a fine Health Department, that has expanded it’s already foundational service base, to include making allowances for the health crisis. Measures such as services for those that might be compromised due to venturing outside of their homes, doing telephone screenings and such Deanna Mosbarger shared in the course of being interviewed. Clay County has behavioral health providers at their Clay City site, Kara Lentz and Jeanne Holden, who are both utilizing tele-med at this time as many providers at this time at 662-2131. Grace and Truth is a faith based provider that is able to also provide services at this time and can be reached at 665-3050. Clay County Counseling is also providing services and does provide a flat fee for those who are on a medical card provider base, they can be reached at 665-4532. For a smaller rural community they are blessed to have a rich abundance of wellness services in their area, in this time to have a resource to steady the rocky storm in this health crisis, financial uncertainty, and influx of fluid information...a lifeline to a confidential source is not a bad thing...but an investment in one’s balance on walking the slippery slope on the tightrope of life. No harm in it whatsoever, in fact if you go back to the oldest best seller in time, David went to his source of trust, his best friend Jonathon and went to someone to talk it through.


As stated in the past article the IDPH has provided this resource as well:


Text “TALK” TO 552020. The Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is not a crisis hotline, but is a source of support for anyone experiencing stress and in need of a listening ear. If an emergency, it is still imperative to call the appropriate EMS contacts or one’s physician. No one will ever know..that you did, talk to someone...is the point, for not just yourself, those you care about.