Presidential politics leading some to seek mental health help

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Miami.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) – The outcome of the presidential election has led to anxiety for some people. Crisis hotlines are reporting a major uptick in the number of people seeking help. Experts says that’s common after any election, but this time, callers are appearing more desperate.

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory has led to protests in some cities. And according to Human Services officials in Outagamie County, more and more people are calling crisis hotlines for help too.

“We’re hearing a lot of concern, I’m a minority and am I safe? Females worrying am I safe? So we have had an increase of that. A lot of anxiety, people worrying about their jobs. We have had a couple people talking suicide language so we definitely have been seeing an increase of what’s been going on,” says Lisa Anderson, Crisis Supervisor for Outagamie County.

While the fears may seem irrational to some, to those who are experiencing them, they’re real.

Amy Bleuel is the founder of Project Semicolon, a non-profit dedicated to helping those suffering from depression. She says, “There’s valid fear and fear drives suicide. Also sadness drives suicide. So these people are feeling this and it’s at an overwhelming extent that they’re choosing to go that route.”

That’s why those expressing their fear and concern about the election, who are contemplating hurting themselves, need to be taken seriously.

According to Bleuel, “You can’t do anything by yourself in that mindset. If you don’t reach out you’re going to lose your life possibly. So reaching out, expressing these needs to people, finding people who can embrace you and understand where you’re coming from.”

While the initial fear is scary for some, experts say it won’t last forever, people simply need time to deal with their feelings.

Lisa Anderson adds, “Some of this, they just have to process a little bit through this and once they go through that We’ll see it go back down, probably within a week.”

The Outagamie County Crisis Center can be reached at 920-832-4646 or toll free at 800-719-4418.

To learn more about Project Semicolon, visit http://www.projectsemicolon.org/.