Local doctor sees increase of patients with mental health issues
One Valley behavioral hospital says they’re seeing more patients with mental health issues—and the increase is even greater in children.
DHR Health Behavioral Medical Director Dr. Jose Igoa says they’ve seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in patients over the last two to three months.
“We see more depression, more anxiety disorders, more substance abuse,” Dr. Igoa said.
Dr. Igoa says the increase in the number of children has been over 30 percent.
"They have lost the ability to socialize with their friends for a long period of time," Dr. Igoa said. "They’ve seen losses that have occurred in their own families."
But Dr. Igoa points out there are several other reasons, including:
- • Fear of uncertainty
- • Financial loss
- • Lack of proper socialization
- • Loss of routine
- • Loss of a family member or friend
Dr. Igoa says they first saw an increase six months into the pandemic, but that was mainly among first responders. Then, he says they saw an increase in the general population, and now, they’re seeing an increase again, this time for children, who he says, need routine.
“Fortunately numbers are going down, and hopefully we are seeing the beginning of the end, but it’s still there and the uncertainty is still there,” Dr. Igoa said.
If you’re a parent, and you’re not sure about how to get your child's life fully return to normal, Dr. Igoa recommends at least creating a routine for your child so that they at least feel some sense of certainty.
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