Finding Hope


Finding Hope: Knowing when and where to seek professional help when you need it

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 12:55:18-05

BOISE, Idaho — 2020 has been quite the year with a global pandemic, competitive election, upcoming holiday season and the financial stresses that typically follow. There is a lot to take in, and it’s probably taking a toll on your mental and emotional health.

That’s normal, and it’s okay.

But when do you know it’s time to seek professional help? When is it time to stop downplaying your stress, anxiety, and sadness? According to the Medical Director of Regence Behavioral Health, Dr. Hossam Mahmoud, he says seeking treatment depends on the severity of symptoms.

Feelings of stress, anxiety and sadness are normal in moderation.

“If someone feels stressed out, they’re more likely to feel down and not as motivated not as cheerful now that still falls under stress," said Dr. Mahmoud. "However, if the symptoms start to become more severe, they’re feeling sad most of the time they don’t have the energy to do much they’re not enjoying things... these are the kind of symptoms that should alert people to seek help.”

The increase in symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and substance abuse could be related to a spike in calls the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline sees.

“Since July our call volume has been going up and in fact, October just last month was the highest call volume we’ve had since the hotline opened in 2012," said Lee Flinn, director of the hotline.

Flinn wants the community to know that despite the name of the hotline, “a person does not have to be suicidal to call. we’re suicide prevention, so if someone is feeling in crisis you know we would hope they would call us before they feel you know much worse.”

The hotline is entirely free, and you do not need any insurance coverage to call. However, if you are covered by insurance, make sure you do your research. A customer service professional with Regence Blue Shield of Idaho says it’s important to give yourself options.

To learn more about the options within your coverage plan, contact your insurance carrier directly. To get in touch with the Idaho Suicide Prevention, you can call or text (208) 398-4357 or call (800) 273-8255.