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State Officials Acknowledge Mental Health Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic

White sign that reads 'Hang In There Neighbors' in red, on a green lawn.
Nina Keck
VPR File
Neighbors across the street from Rutland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, which was the site of a COVID-19 outbreak in November that led to the deaths of multiple residents.

From social isolation to food insecurity, the effects of COVID-19 can be wide-ranging and strenuous. So Vermont officials have a new message for residents: take care of your mental health and well-being, and reach out if you need help. This hour, in our weekly update, we talk about this and the latest COVID-19 news with Mental Health Commissioner Sarah Squirrell and Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan, and we answer your questions.
Our guests are:

  • Tracy Dolan, deputy commissioner for the Vermont Department of Health
  • Sarah Squirrell, commissioner for the Vermont Department of Mental Health

Vermonters have a broad range of free, 24/7 confidential mental health supports available to them:

  • Call Vermont 2-1-1
  • Visit and find it on Twitter, Facebookor Instagram
  • Crisis Text Line: Text the letters "VT" to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-3255; press 1 for the Veteran's Crisis Line. Counselors are available 24/7 to provide free and confidential support
  • Visit VTHELPLINK.orgor call 1-800-565-LINK for substance use support
  • Call the Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Crisis Lifeline): 1-866-488-7368
  • Vermont Peer Support Line, open 24/7: 1-833-888-2557
  • Contact your primary care provider
  • Talk to a family member, friend, health care provider, a faith leader, teacher or coach
Crisis resources: National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 Vermont Suicide Prevention Center: Text VT to 741741 National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Broadcast live on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at 1 p.m; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

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Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Lydia worked for Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS from 2019 until 2022.
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