Doing Good: Arkansas Crisis Center is handling triple the calls during COVID-19 Pandemic

Doing Good

Calls are up 188% compared to this time last year.

Fayetteville, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Calls to The Arkansas Crisis Center helpline have spiked during the Coronavirus pandemic, And a dedicated team is there around the clock to make sure they do not go unanswered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made people very lonely…

“They’re not getting that one on one communication, ” Arkansas Crisis Center Crisis Services Program Manager Illeah Marcum said.

There is also a lot more stress.

“They’re concerned about how they’re going to pay next month’s rent. They’re concerned about utilities being shut off. They’re concerned about when they’re going to be able to return to work?” Marcum said.

It has caused countless crises.

“A crisis is self-defined. Your version of a crisis is going to be different than my version of a crisis because of the different ways we’ve learned to deal with different life stressors so our line is open to everyone,” Marcum said.

The Arkansas Crisis Center’s 24-hour helpline is busier than ever.

“We expect to serve approximately 5,000 individuals this year on our hotline,” ACC Executive Director Rebecca Brubaker said.

Those callers will get connected with important resources to help them cope with whatever challenges they are facing.

“Our calls from May 2020 in comparison to our call volume in May 2019, we’ve actually experienced a 188% increase,” Marcum said.

So the Arkansas Crisis Center is making plans to make sure everyone gets the help they need.

“We’re trying to put more specialists on the line at all times so that we have good coverage and we really need to modify our software,” Brubaker said.

But that takes volunteers and money.

“Everybody is struggling. Companies are at part-time capacity. Families have lost jobs, so those individual contributions just aren’t there,” Brubaker said.

The donations are not there right now, but the ACC still is when we need it the most.

The helpline is also a suicide prevention line. If you need help, call 888-274-7472. And if you can help out in any way, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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