Bookings for mental health help filled up in the Houston area from start of pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Another year is upon us where so far, things are not quite back to "normal," and mental health experts in the Houston area say the stresses of normal lives, in addition to the pandemic, is taking a toll on a lot of people.

Since the start of the pandemic, mental health experts said they have experienced a significant increase in demand for appointments.

"We are entirely full right now. We are looking to hire a new person to try and keep up," said Ty Lerman, a psychotherapist at Southwest Psychotherapy Associates.

Lerman said undoubtedly, stresses from the pandemic have led more people to seek help.

SEE RELATED: Where to find help and resources in the Greater Houston area

"Certainly, depression and anxiety have been creeping up. Many people have lost loved ones, so grief is a large issue," said Lerman.

Dr. Beatriz Craven, a psychologist and owner of Modern Therapy, said they have also stayed booked since the virus hit.

"The amount of adjustment that we've moved through has been unparalleled. It's been something we've never experienced before, so the demand has been really through the roof," said Craven.

Lerman said the pandemic has taken a toll on our relationships, too.

"The largest increase has been with the need for couples counseling. So much so, that in our practice we are looking at hiring a new person specifically to just do couples and to do relationship counseling," said Lerman.

Lerman said spending more time together at home is one of the many factors in the increase in demand.

"Being forced to be at home 24/7 with our partners has removed the ability or the coping skill of sweeping things under the rug and pretending like things aren't a problem," said Lerman.

Though there may be a waitlist, experts are encouraging people to make their mental health a priority.

"Now is really the time. Don't wait. Don't let it continue to accumulate. Do what you can to take care of your mental health. It matters," said Craven.

For more information on mental health resources available in the Houston area, click here.

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