Mental Health Needs Rise – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Omar Aguilar is the director of religious education at Mary Immaculate Church in Flower Mound.

“Mental health challenges are a real deal, are real problems,” Aguilar said. “Now more than ever we are seeing an increase in some of these situations.”

The congregation has lost six members due to suicide since the spring.

Aguilar works as a First Aider for Mental Health for the Church. He trains others to be a resource for all ward members in need.

“We will not diagnose,” Aguilar said. “We will not treat these people. But nonetheless, we will be there in the lead. We will be the ones who receive them and meet them for the first time, and hopefully we will be able to help them get the right help, they need.”

It is a need that professional mental health organizations also see an increase.

“Mental health care is health care and we want people to take care of their minds, their bodies and their hearts,” said Chief Clinical Officer for Metrocare Services Kelli Laos.

“We are seeing an increase in the need for mental health services in both children, adolescents and adults, primarily due to the pandemic,” Laos added.

Since it is something that can affect anyone, she shared these warning signs.

“That they are not interested in the same things that they were interested in,” Laos said. “They have a hard time getting out of bed. They do not sleep very well. Whatever the case, it is time to seek help before it becomes a crisis situation.”

She says you need to take the first step to reach out for help because it’s out there.

“It exists in every society,” Laos said. “There is an effort to make these services more well-known and easily accessible, but they are there.”

Laos added: “We encourage you to reach out and access these services again, especially before you get into a crisis situation, because you can feel better. This can get better, you just need help.”

The Metrocare Crisis line is 214-743-1215. To learn more about their services, click here.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. To learn more, click here.

Here are other resources for mental health:

North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

National Alliance on Mental Illness North Texas

My Health My resource in Tarrant County

Texas Health and Human Services


Leave a Comment