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STATEWIDE — IU Health says it’s seeing more first-time patients for mental health services.

They say it’s mostly because of anxiety linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People are reporting fast-beating heart, feeling sweaty or shaking, having difficulty sleeping, whether it’s going to sleep because of concerns or worries or waking up in the morning,” said Clinical Psychologist Danielle Henderson.

She says treatment may include hospitalization for serious or extreme cases or medication, but many people just need to talk about it and gain back control.

“There are so many aspects about this experience that can cause people to feel isolated,” said Henderson to WISH-TV, “and to connect with someone who is there to help I think has been really beneficial.”

Henderson says that many of her conversations with patients are happening online because of the pandemic.

“We are using telemedicine, or virtual visits,” she said. “We’re able to connect and see each other visually and have our session as we normally would and it’s working out very well for me personally.”

She says people’s anxiety is protective in many ways and wants to keep us safe. To overcome it, Henderson says, people have to find out what triggers it, and learn coping mechanisms that work.