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MDHHS offering support groups for people struggling during COVID-19 pandemic

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering another way for people to get help who are having difficulty coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 3:36 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering another way for people to get help who are having difficulty coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MDHHS is offering a series of support groups that will help people manage the stresses that have come during the pandemic.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be able to offer these group supports and doing outreach to a variety of populations to try and make available resources for people that we expect would be struggling with what’s going on,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, medical director for behavioral health and forensic programs for MDHHS.

Pinals said that in these groups, people will learn more about the virus itself and how it impacts people’s mental health. She said that those who sign up will be able to open a dialogue and talk about what’s going on. Attendees will also get a good understanding of all of the help that is out there .

Pinals stressed that there is nothing wrong with seeking help.

“This is not to try and label you as being abnormal or having a problem that other people don’t have,” Pinals said. “It’s recognizing that in this kind of disaster, we have emotions and it’s stressful and we’re pivoting a lot and there’s a lot of things we are dealing with.”

Pinals said it’s normal to feel stressed right now and that these groups will help people get through this.

“There’s obviously hope with the vaccine around the corner but there’s still a long road ahead,” she said. “So I think that’s what we are hoping is that people will realize this is really something that’s available to everyone and anyone and a way to just reach out and get some help and know that you’re not alone.”

The support groups will be offered at varying times during the next several weeks and more information can be found at Michigan.gov/staywell.

There are separate support groups for different people and more information is on the MDHHS Facebook page.

Additional resources for getting help can also be found on the MDHHS website. People can also seek help by calling 1-888-535-6136 and pressing “8” to talk to a Michigan Stay Well counselor.

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