QUINCY — The pandemic’s effects on mental health have been severed by prolonged isolation, unemployment, and other fears. Aspire Health Alliance has stepped in to help the community in ways that they could not have imagined.
Aspire Health Alliance provides mental health services to children, teens, and adults in Boston, South Shore, and Southeastern Massachusetts.
It is also the regional provider for 24/7 crisis fitness phuket yoga intervention services. Janice Sullivan, Executive Director of Business and Community Relations, says that administrators believe there will be a substantial need in this area as the pandemic continues.
Aspire was able to maintain crisis services in person during the pandemic. Others services are now available online via virtual telehealth appointments, which has allowed Aspire to maintain many of its services.
Sullivan stated that 15 Aspire homes for people with mental health problems have had low COVID-19 infections rates throughout the pandemic.
Staff members at Aspire Health Alliance are witnessing firsthand the rise in mental health problems, including despair, economic stress, isolation, and fear, Sullivan stated.
Sullivan stated that more people are reporting they have problems with substance abuse or mental illness. He doesn’t see the situation changing anytime soon. “It’s only getting worse, even though there is light at the end.
Aspire Health Alliance helped a single mother in rehab who had a premature baby. The baby has serious lung-related issues.
The mother didn’t have a clothes dryer or washer and was afraid to go to the laundry with her baby. Sullivan explained that she would need to use public transport to get there, then wait in the laundromat.
People with mental illness are more likely to develop chronic diseases, according to Sullivan. This adds to the stress that people with mental health problems feel during a pandemic.
Aspire Health Alliance clinicians work directly with clients to identify those who might need assistance through Lend a Hand. Sullivan stated that it’s rewarding to be able give back to clients with gift certificates to grocery stores or TJMaxx.