AltaPointe sees rise in mental health calls

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Two standoffs earlier this week have helped highlight a mental health issue in the area. AltaPointe runs a 24/7 access to care center where people can call and be directed to different mental health resources and treatment options. April Douglas says they received just under 7,100 calls in October.

“Yearly we answer about 80,000 calls for help,” said April Douglas with AltaPointe.

Other calls go to the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline where counselors like Shak Steward talk callers through different levels of a mental health episode.

“I had a recent one where he or she was ready to end it and had the means to harm themselves,” said Shak Steward.

Shak says he was able to help the caller see that things could get better.

“Love was shared but also they were able to discover new strategies on how to handle stuff. As long as a caller feels like they have hope for the future that makes me feel awesome,” said Steward.

For some, that’s all it takes. Others need different types of treatment to get them through a crisis. Douglas says they’ve seen an increase in people reaching out for help. So much that it’s hard to meet the demand.

“It’s a lack of workforce. It’s a shortage, we’re all experiencing it. There just isn’t enough staff to meet the demand,” said Douglas.

AltaPointe says the number of people asking for help shows the stigma around mental health is changing, and people are understanding that it can affect anyone.

“There was so much stigma surrounding it. You thought something was wrong with you, you thought something was wrong with them so you just didn’t tell anyone,” added Douglas. “But that’s changing and that’s causing that demand.”

If you want to reach out to AltaPointe you can call 251-450-2211 for the 24/7 Access to Care line. AltaPointe says they can connect you to other mental health resources if you need a resource or treatment method that they don’t have. You can also call the 988 crisis line if need be.


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