Governor Hutchinson urging Arkansans to focus on mental health during COVID-19

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – One of the big focuses today is staying healthy during this outbreak, which includes mental health.

State leaders say everyone needs to be mindful of maintaining their mental health, but also help others if they can.

Today, Governor Hutchinson talked about ways for people to be safe while being stuck in the house during this national emergency.

Dr. Rick Smith with the UAMS Psychiatry Department said that this can take an emotional toll on someone and stress people with underlying behavior health issues, especially with substance use disorders.

This will be very challenging, but they encourage continuing treatment and continuing to do activities that are helpful to you.

They have encouraged folks to call clinical providers because they are still open in some form or fashion, whether it’s over the phone or telehealth.

There are also emergency services on stand-by for anyone who may need them.

“I want to urge you to pause a moment and take a deep breathe, this will help you cope with the stress in fact during this long emergency we need you to do this multiple times a day… to Pause, disconnect from the urgency of the situation and relax,” said Dr. Smith.

Smith said just like the flood the state saw last year, this crisis will end and things will slowly return back to normal, they need people to take a deep breathe multiple times a day.

Every Arkansan has access to a mental health or addiction service.

If anyone needs someone to talk to during this time or you don’t know who to talk to, you can call DHS support at 844-7630-0198 between Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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