Agencies work to make addiction center resources available during COVID-19

Don’t go to the store. Stand six feet apart from others. Don’t go to work. Don’t go to school. Don’t leave the house. As businesses, workplaces, schools, and more are shut down and people are asked to self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health can be difficult to maintain.

For many, it feels like life is spinning out of control, putting them at a greater risk for depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses; for those in addiction recovery, the situation can be even more dire.

“The high uncertainty of these times and the economic stressors of layoffs and lockdowns makes it a relapse-rich environment,” says Sam Price, president and CEO of Ten 16 Recovery Network.

In addition, social-distancing recommendations from the Center for Disease Control make it difficult for those in addiction recovery to receive treatment in a safe, consistent manner.

The Ten 16 Recovery Network is solving this problem by switching their services to an online format; however, because the need for online services came so suddenly, Ten 16 Recovery Network is continuing to see patients in-person while they ramp up their online services.

“Because of their high risk profile, our residential program is still admitting and treating people. Our services are part of the essential serve category, so we are doing what we can to stay ‘open and available’ to the folks we serve,” says Price.

Community Mental Health for Central Michigan — which serves adults with mental illness, children with emotional disturbance, individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability, and persons with substance use disorder — is another organization adapting their services due to COVID-19.

Thus far, CMHCM has created a COVID-19 Response Team which has established safe precautionary practices to prevent the spread of the virus. CMHCM’s medical professionals are transitioning in-person services to online using Telemedicine, Telepractice, and phone check-ins with patients.

“To ensure safety and to preserve the health of our consumers and staff, we have moved the majority of our services to telephone contacts. We are working on exploring additional virtual options which allow us to provide confidential and HIPAA compliant services,” says Jennifer McNally, the program director for CMHCM. “We have not stopped providing any of our services, we are just changing the format in which we provide them.”

CMHCM also offers a 24/7 crisis service that the Isabella county community can access at 989-772-5938.

“During this time of unknown, mental illness and mental health needs won’t disappear or stop occurring, likely, symptoms will increase and needs will become more due to anxiety and depression with our current situation,” says McNally. “We want to continue providing all of the services we provide and ensure the well-being of our communities.”

Additionally, those seeking support or help can reach out to the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership Crisis Text Line by texting “BELONG” to 741741.

For more information on where to find addiction recovery support during this time, visit these links provided by Linda Davis, executive director of Families Against Narcotics: In The Rooms, SMART Recovery (12-step alternative), Cocaine Anonymous, Families Anonymous, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon.