Mind Springs offers help to deal with wildfire stress

A mental health services provider in Western Colorado offers a free support line to help people distressed by wildfires burning in the region.

Mind Springs Health operates the line at (877) 519-7505 around the clock.

Michelle Hoy, executive vice president of Mind Springs Health, said fires are burning near communities the organization serves, including the Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction and Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs.

“Wildfires are not only physically devastating to public and private lands, but they can also increase anxiety and feelings of sadness and vulnerability. These are normal feelings to have during and after a natural disaster, and it can be incredibly helpful to talk about these emotions with a professional,” Hoy said.

Mind Springs Health initially launched its mental health support line in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the wildfires and start of the school year could add to the concerns people experience, said Dr. William Elsass, chief medical officer. “Many people in our communities are simply reaching the point they don’t feel they can navigate their stress and anxiety on their own, and we want to be sure that everyone who needs help, has quick, easy access to support.”