KESQ: As residents grow restless, county launches new service to cope with pandemic


Published: 9:46 pm

With stay at home orders in place since March 19th, people around the state and here in the valley are growing restless.

News Channel 3 spoke with some locals on Sunday to find out how they’re coping while also learning more about a free new service from the county aimed at helping people through the crisis.

“I gotta save my mind right now and see people and see that the world is going on and that there are other people out there,” said Sherri Agee.

Sherri Agee is trying to stay positive and feel some sort of connection to others while shopping at the grocery store.

Barbara Walsh said she’s felt more emotional triggers since the pandemic began.

“My anxiety has been affected,” said Walsh. “I have claustrophobia so wearing this and i have never felt that way before.”

Walsh’s husband also weighing in on the state shutdown.

“People are done,” said Thomas Walsh. “I know I am done, I am tired of this, its like open up.”

Renee Baribeau, who works at a mental health treatment center said the number of calls to her office are increasing.

“People are struggling,” said Baribeau. “I hit a wall a few weeks ago I was like okay, I hit a wall, what do I do, I had to take myself less seriously, iItook a walk, this whole this thing is a new norm how do we negotiate it.”

According to the county behavioral health specialists , its natural to feel anxious, nervous, concerned or in need of talking to someone during the coronavirus pandemic, which is why the county has setup resources aimed at providing mental and emotional support.

“We have established a call line for people where they can just speak to someone about whatever maybe going on with them,” Thomas Peterson, Senior Public Information Specialist at Riverside University Health System–Behavioral Health. “We also have a new website called take my hand which is a chat accessible resource for people.”

County public health department spokesman, Thomas Peterson said the free help line is staffed by peer support specialists, who understand how people may be feeling during the crisis.

Its all confidential and specialists are available to take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And referrals can me be made to a county-affiliated urgent care in Palm Springs for callers experiencing an emergency.

“It’s voluntary, its drop in, there’s no requirement of insurance,” said Peterson.

For support during this crisis call 951-955-7015, individual coaching, counseling and listening, 24/7

For new chat-based help line “Take My Hand” website. Click Here.