State officials say Minnesotans should not hesitate to seek any mental health services they need due to pressure from the pandemic. Julie Hanenburg with Lighthouse Child and Family Services in Milaca says:

“Our referrals and our intakes at this time have not increased in a way that would match the level of stress, and I think distress, that people are experiencing during the pandemic.”

Hanenburg says among the issues could be transportation, Internet access, and persisting stigma around accessing mental health services. Sue Abderholden with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Minnesota says one reason there hasn’t been the expected number of referrals is that children are not in front of their teachers — who are trained to identify early warning signs of mental illness. For resources available to families and individuals, visit   mn.gov/covid19/gethelp.