Mental Health

(KMAland) -- While the current situation may bring fear and anxiety, the Southwest Iowa Mental Health & Disability Services Region is doing their part to recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

Suzanne Watson, CEO Of SWI MHDS, joined "The Morning Routine" recently to discuss the importance of mental health during these trying times. 

"It's so important just to talk about mental illness," Watson said. "And to continuing having those conversations, so we can try to break the stigma. I think things like what we're going through with current COVID crisis helps to have those conversations because I think more people are having experiences with anxiety that they haven't experienced in the past." 

SWI MHDS offers many resources available for those suffering from mental health including its crisis services program such as the "Hope for Iowa Crisis Call Line".

"That is a 24/7 call-line," Watson said. "People can call in. Usually, it's a 15-20 minute conversation. It's completely confidential. They can talk to professionals for whatever they might need."

Those wishing to use the call line can contact 844-673-4469. 

Watson adds the Hope for Iowa call line has been well-received, especially during the uncertain times brought about by COVID-19. 

"We usually have anywhere from 30-50 call in a month from all over our region," Watson said. "Right now, in the COVID crisis, there's been a lot more questions surrounding that because it has provoked a little more anxiety and depression in people." 

Watson says the usage of SWIA MDHS's resources have increased due to coronavirus outbreak, but that's OK. 

"We do want to encourage people if they're experience anxiety, they should just call and reach out," Watson said. "There's nothing wrong with talking to somebody. A lot of times after we talk to people, even it's somebody we don't know, that's often all we need to get over that hump and start feeling back to normal."

Other resources provided by SWIA MHDS include a crisis stabilization center and a mobile crisis team that is typically called out by law enforcement. 

Anyone wishing to learn more about SWIA MHDS can visit their website --

Watson made her comments on Friday's edition of "The Morning Routine" the complete interview can be heard below. 

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