Bryan Health’s Mental Health Emergency Room Sees 10% Increase in Patients in 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) — Two years after the pandemic, COVID-19 is still gripping our physical health and impacting our mental health. Bryan Health’s Mental Health Emergency Room saw a 10% increase in patient numbers from 2020 to 2021. Mental health professionals in the emergency room saw 6,903 patients in person and virtually in 2021.

That’s the most they’ve ever seen in the eight years they’ve been open.

“As the numbers increase through the different cycles of the variants and different things, we see more people reaching out, asking questions, and seeking support,” says Dr. Dave Miers, director of Behavioral Health Services at Bryan Medical Center. “It’s important for people to know that support is available.”

As of 2021, a record number of people still used Bryan’s online mental health screenings: 4,144. In 2020 there were 3,945. With another wave of COVID-19 comes another possibility of isolation, fear of contracting COVID-19 and fear for our family, friends, work and school.

“It is normal to have depressive and anxiety symptoms, to feel depressed during a global pandemic. If you have these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more, don’t ignore them,” said Dr. ants.

Seasonal affective disorder and just coming out of the holidays can also contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

“A lot of people think, you know what, this is a pandemic that’s how I should feel. No, that’s false. You shouldn’t feel that way,” said Dr Miers.

Miers said it’s important not to ignore the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“We try to keep our families safe, we worry about work, school, all those things,” said Dr. ants. “We put the symptoms in the back of our minds and tend to think it’s only going to get better.”

Miers recommends eating right, exercising and getting outside if possible, as that helps produce good chemicals in our brains to maintain a healthy balance. But if improving those things doesn’t help you and your depression and anxiety symptoms persist, he recommends that you seek help.

Nevertheless, there is a bright spot; suicide rates for the country have fallen in 2020. Dr. Miers thinks it’s because the pandemic forced us to connect and support each other.

“In times of crisis, families, communities and individuals pull together and support each other,” said Dr. ants.

Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment