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WQAD.com

Iowa behavioral health facility expecting possible increase of anxiety, fear this holiday season due to pandemic

CEO Ross Teemant says mental health centers usually see an uptick in demand this time of year.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Even though staff at Eagle View Behavioral Health aren't treating COVID-19 patients, they're still facing the effects of the pandemic.  

"I think we'll see a wide gamut of responses by individuals from the pandemic," CEO Ross Teemant says. 

Teemant says since their opening in June, there's been a consistent flow in and out of the 72 bed facility.

"It hasn't changed one way or the other because of the pandemic," he says. 

It's not just people from the Quad Cities, but all across Illinois and Iowa coming here to treat a variety of conditions like depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.

Teemant says facilities like this normally expect an uptick in demand during this time of year. 

"We'll see individuals have what we call the 'Holiday Blues,'" he says. "We'll see people having anxiety around their family members and around interactions with family members."

But adding COVID-19 into the mix adds a new factor for them to watch for. 

"I think we'll also see an increase of anxiety and fears because of people not being able to see their families in the same way as before and not being able to experience the holidays like they traditionally have," Teemant says. 

He says he knows everyone can be affected by this pandemic, even those who haven't struggled with mental health before, making it important for loved ones to keep an eye on each other.

"Honing in on those changed behaviors is gonna be key for those support systems, family members and loved ones in recognizing changes to people who are vulnerable to illness," Teemant says. 

He also adds that visiting their center for a free assessment, instead of the Emergency Room, can help you avoid long lines, possible exposure to COVID-19 and alleviate strain on local hospitals.