In the last week, more than half of the mental health calls Bart Campbell answered through the city’s crisis outreach and support hotline are related to COVID-19.
It’s been nearly two weeks since schools and local services shut their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton and people here are still trying to cope with the uncertainty. Campbell and his colleagues are getting 25 per cent more calls than they usually would, taking nearly 130 calls a day.
“Every day, people are trying to figure it out…we’ve never been here before,” said Campbell, a triage support worker for the crisis outreach and support team, known as COAST.
COAST is a partnership between St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Police Services and Halton Regional Police Services. When locals dial in, trained officers and mental health workers at St. Joseph’s help to identify the person’s mental health concerns, their situation and any risks.
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