Living through this pandemic is traumatizing. Community members report higher levels of anxiety and depression than usual as we face unprecedented challenges together. The Women's Center continues to answer phones, identify resources, and offer a listening ear. We’re here to help with personalized solutions to economic and emotional barriers.
"It's been so hard to turn the news off. I want to know what's going on all the time, even though it increases my anxiety so much," Linda tells her therapist. Since the news about the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan broke out on March 10th, Linda has been living in uncertainty. A new mom of a 7-month- old, Linda lost childcare a week later, when her daughter's daycare decided to close due to the outbreak. As a retail worker, Linda's hours have been cut drastically, with no promise that the business she works for will survive another month.
Linda continues to connect with her Women's Center counselor through teletherapy: "I definitely notice my anxiety getting worse throughout the day. I'm easily triggered these days. It's hard to be a caretaker when I feel so anxious. Being able to check in with my therapist through video has really helped me to stay more grounded and calm," Linda tells us in a follow-up phone interview.
Linda also attends MomShare, which started meeting virtually towards the end of March. "I'm grateful to be able to chat with other moms who are also feeling overwhelmed by this quarantine and wondering how to protect our families."
Another issue that has been heavy on Linda's mind are the increased hate crimes against Asian Americans. "I keep reading in the news that there have been incidents in other states and in other countries where Asian Americans have faced racial discrimination because of the COVID-19 outbreak. I'm scared to leave my house. I'm afraid to go grocery shopping, because of the color of my skin," Linda tearfully tells us. Linda's counselor is working with her to come up with exercises to help her during these moments of heightened anxiety.
"I'm grateful that I can afford this," Linda says. "And that MomShare is free." She has worked out with her therapist to pay $5 for an hour of counseling during this time. "It means that at least twice a week, I can talk to someone who gets it!"
Linda is not alone. Our community is struggling to keep everyone fed and housed and connected. Although it costs The Women's Center $85 to provide one hour of therapy, we will continue to offer comfort and mental health services, regardless of a woman's ability to pay or whether she has insurance. You can help Linda and women like her by making a donation to cover one or more hours of mental health therapy. The Funds from this campaign will help 20 women for ten sessions each. Lets give them the continuity and hope during these tough times!
Out of respect for guidelines on social distancing, we’ve rescheduled our spring fundraiser which has a sizeable impact on our budget. Your donation will help to alleviate social isolation, anxiety, and depression among new mothers, college students, women facing the end of a relationship, workers without childcare, and folks who are struggling financially. Meeting our fundraising goal would allow us to provide 200 hours of therapy for women in need.
Read more stories: https://womenscentersemi.org/donate/stories/