The stress of this pandemic is taking a toll on many. Here’s where to go for help

Apr. 20, 2020

By Allyson Blair | April 17, 2020 at 3:53 PM HST - Updated April 17 at 8:44 PM

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered thousands of businesses, triggered tens of thousands of layoffs, and closed schools.

The new normal has been difficult for many. And it’s left some facing incredibly tough decisions.

Since the pandemic began, calls to the Aloha United Way 211 resource hotline have skyrocketed 1000%. The vast majority of callers are people struggling to pay rent and put food on the table.

It’s a constant stress that’s pushing people to their breaking point. “That’s what getting mental health treatment is about,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. “Getting through that rough spot.”

On average, 30% of Americans will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Experts expect that number to nearly double in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Green says a good option is tele-psychiatry.

“You can have a conversation, you can get feedback you can even have sessions and they’re waiving all sorts of restrictions and copays so people can actually get help when they need it and do it from home,” he said.


If you don’t have insurance, mental health experts say just talking to someone you trust can be helpful.

“Whether it’s churches or from their friends or family or support groups. People definitely need to reach out especially now when we’re all so disconnected,” said Steve Pavao, a mental health expert.


The state also has a crisis hotline that’s available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

When you call you’ll be connected to professionals who specialize in helping people cope with crisis.

If you live on Oahu, call 832-3100. On the neighbor islands call 1-800-753-6879.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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