Tulsa Medical Professionals See Rise In Mental Health Challenges Amid Pandemic

Monday, September 13th 2021, 6:06 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Doctors at Saint Francis say they're seeing a large increase in anxiety, depression and delirium.

Psychiatrists said the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the mental health of not only patients who have the virus, but also the general public, especially teens and young adults.

Dr. Ondria Gleason is a psychiatrist who sees patients at Saint Francis, and said she's seeing more patients who are anxious and depressed.

In some COVID-19 patients, she's also seeing people confused and suffering from hallucinations.

Gleason said fear of the virus, long-term symptoms and isolation are all playing factors. She’s also seeing more irritability in kids as well.

Gleason said medication can help, but also recommends unplugging from negative news and getting outside. She said that can help, and that a lot of people are going through this.

"It's kind of a new world for all of us,” said Gleason. “We haven't had anything like this for decades where it's been kind of a fear like this. And I think that just makes it hard every day.”

Doctors also say they're seeing more people who have had substance abuse problems in the past relapse during the pandemic.

If you are struggling or know someone who is, there are resources available.

You can call Family and Children’s Services 24-hour COPES line at 918-744-4800 for immediate help. It is free and confidential.

The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) connect veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.

The Mental Health Assistance Center through Mental Health Association Oklahoma offers a free resource referral line to guide anyone needing help to the right resources. To speak to a professional, call 918-585-1213 or click here for more information.