Mental Health

(KMAland) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on mental health but an organization in Iowa is putting a spotlight on this issue.

The Southwest Iowa Mental Health & Disability Services Region (SWIA MHDS) recognizes May as Mental Health Month to improve wellness, hope, and outcome for residents of Southwest Iowa in times of crisis. Clinical Supervisor for HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line Victoria VanTol appeared on KMA’s AM in the AM program and spoke on the importance of recognizing this month.

“There has definitely been an increased demand for mental health services. An increased number of people struggling with mental health issues, from depression and anxiety caused by feeling isolated and not being able to contact and be with those people in their support system,” VanTol said. “It’s been a really tough time for people who may have already been struggling with their mental health.”

The HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line, which connects individuals in crisis to trained counselors who can guide the caller to various resources, has served southwest Iowa since 2015. VanTol shared the importance of reaching out for help.

“It is just so important to call and reach out for some kind of help. If you have been struggling with depression or any other kind of mental health symptoms for a while or if that’s just emerging,” VanTol said. “Even if what you are experiencing you consider to be mild it is still really important to get those preventative services in place.”

The helpline is available 24/7. Residents can call the helpline phone number at 844-673- 4469. The SWIA MHDS is also offering a Mental Health Awareness Virtual Event on Tuesday, May 26 from 2- 3pm. You can find details on their Facebook page.

“Reaching out is not a sign of weakness. In fact it’s a huge brave step that you can take, it’s a huge strength to be able to say you know what this is too much, this is more than I can cope with and I need to secure some help for myself,” VanTol said.

To find out more information you can go to and to hear the full interview with Victoria VanTol you can click below.

Victoria discusses May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

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