Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center shows News 3 how they're dealing concerns over the coronavirus

Posted at 3:33 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 23:27:19-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - News 3 sat down with CEO of the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center Kurt Hooks to talk about the impacts of the coronavirus on his facility and people's mental health.

The facility treats people who have mental health disorders and chemical dependencies.

“It’s had a major impact on our operations as a facility,” said Hooks.

Everyone that comes into the doors of the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center is screened.

They ask you about any recent travel and your medical condition. You then have your temperature taken at the door.

News 3 Reporter Margaret Kavanagh and Photographer Andrew Hughes both had temperatures within the accepted range upon entering the facility.

These measures are precautions the center is taking against the coronavirus.

“We have seen an increase in the percentage of incoming calls for involuntary admissions,” said Hooks. “We see the demand for our services at minimum staying stable, if not increasing depending on the course of the pandemic.”

Concern over the coronavirus and the state of the country could intensify already existing mental health problems - or cause them to develop for the first time.

“Individuals that may have never experienced a behavioral health problem before but as a result of this may have them for the first time, and it’s okay to reach out for help,” said Hooks.

Hooks said to make sure you have all prescribed medications you need at hand, talk to your doctor about concerns, exercise safety to your abilities approved by your doctor and use technology to interact with others while maintaining physical distance.

Related: Patients turn to virtual therapy during social distancing; many suffer from coronavirus anxiety

Hooks said he prefers to use the term "physical distancing" compared to the more widely used "social distancing." He said the term "social distancing" reminds him of isolation. He said for many people in recovery, social interaction are a huge part of getting better.

There is more information on their website.

Click here for tips from the CDC on managing stress and anxiety during this pandemic.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.