Potter County experts experience increase of mental health cases up to 50%

VIDEO: Potter County mental health cases up 50% since pandemic started

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Potter County is seeing double the number of mental health cases now compared to the time before the pandemic.

Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner says they see a lot of repeat patients as some people will do well in the mental health clinic and get released, but they won’t stay consistent, and that’s where the growing cases come from.

“We direct them to the right people to get the help that they need, and they won’t go. TPC offers that, along with CIT, the Crisis Intervention Team, they will take them to the Pavilion, they will take them to where they need to go. So, the problem is the follow up,” said Nancy Tanner, Potter County judge.

Potter County saw 16 new mental health cases in just one day. They normally that number within one week.

“There’s no beds and we have mental health cases. The other day, the two guys that I hired to do the mental health show cause hearings, I do the finals, they do the show calls. They were there until 7:00 at night. They had 24 cases in one day. It’s definitely a problem for the county,” said Judge Tanner.

Judge Tanner says if we had another local state hospital, it would be full overnight.

“It definitely has not you know, slowed down for us, that’s for sure; and we do have a tendency to be, I guess full or at capacity frequently,” said Gina Rejino, behavioral health therapist, The Pavilion at Northwest Texas Healthcare System.

Rejino says they are seeing a wide range of patients at the hospital including people who normally might not come in for help because they are dealing with affects from COVID-19.

“A lot of that comes from, you know, the isolation. A lot of that comes from we’ve seen job loss; we’ve seen deaths, so we get a lot of grief,” said Rejino.

The Pavilion at Northwest Texas hospital has been having an influx of patient admissions and say the majority of the people coming in are experiencing isolation, boredom and/or stress.

“Mostly, you know, every time they come in what we hear is isolation, we hear boredom and we hear stress. So those are the three major factors that tend to bring people in,” said Rejino.

“We’ve had so many mental health cases and so many deaths this year from COVID that people are just really, really down,” said Judge Tanner.

The Pavilion will still continue to handle the influx of patient admissions.

They provide an outpatient program that meets in person as a resource. Click here to see a list of the behavioral health resources they provide.

Their access line is 24/7 and you can call anytime for a free assessment.

Call (806) 354-1810 or (800) 537-2585 (Toll Free).

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