May is Mental Health Awareness Month and now more than ever we need to look for the signs and be ready to help. We are all feeling anxiety, worry, or depression in one way or another because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, there were more than 22,000 calls to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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That's an 891% jump in call volume from a year ago and it wouldn't be a surprise to see even more in May. That's why the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAST) is here for you locally.

They want you to know that they are open and will continue to support the needs of their clients and community by telephone. Visitors can't go into their office but you can call them at (607) 771-8888 with any questions.

With stay-at-home orders in place, there is a lot of concern for the people who are stuck at home in an abusive relationship or a toxic family situation. MHAST's short term Crisis Respite program remains open and could be of help.

If you need a safe environment as an alternative to hospitalization, call (607) 771-8888 ext. 350. Keep an eye out and an ear open, you could be the difference that someone needs right now but doesn't know how to reach out.

Their Peer Support Warm Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (607) 240-7291. Finally, if you are looking for a way to manage your stress and anxiety during this COVID-19 outbreak, go here.

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[via Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier]

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