In response to concerns about increased mental health needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mind Springs Mental Health has started a new support line to provide help and guidance to community members on the Western Slope.

The line will be staffed with trained mental health professionals, according to a March 30 announcement. Help is available by calling 1-877-519-7505 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Increased anxiety, stress and depression are just a few of the negative effects COVID-19 is having on many Coloradans. Social distancing has intensified existing mental health issues for some, while bringing forth first-time struggles for others,” the press release stated.

“We’re in a very unique and strange environment right now and the isolation involved with social distancing can be very difficult,” according to Michelle Hoy, the executive vice president of Mind Springs Health.  

“For many people, too much alone time simply perpetuates feelings of sadness, fear, and anxiety. At Mind Springs Health, we want to be sure that everyone in the communities we serve has someone to talk to and has access to further help if needed,” she added.

The mental health care professionals who staff the phone line “will be able to provide coping skills to help those experiencing anxiety, while also referring callers to available resources should their needs exceed an initial phone conversation,” according to the release.

Mind Springs covers a 23,000-square-mile, multi-county area that includes Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties.