Local Help Hotline sees spike in calls following election

The Help Hotline Crisis Center in Mahoning County has heard from those unhappy with the result of the presidential election

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Fears of heightened bigotry and hate crimes have turned into reality for some Americans after Donald Trump’s presidential win.

Whether you’re upset about the election’s outcome or the protests that have followed, the bottom line is that it’s OK to need mental health support.

Locally, people are finding that support through the Help Hotline Crisis Center in Mahoning County.

“We have had more calls, perhaps increased because people are concerned,” said Cathy Grizinski, associate director of Help Hotline. “They’re worried.”

Since Tuesday when Trump ousted Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, Help Hotline says more people are calling in with the fear of the unknown.

“When you’re in that helpless situation, you do feel out of control and things start to build up,” Grizinski said. “Or you feel stressed out.”

The biggest concerns nationally and locally are about discrimination, safety and security — and even healthcare.

“Especially if you come from a different culture or are mentally disabled or physically challenged,” Grizinski said. “Or females who are worried about equal footing or discrimination at work.”

But, volunteers at Help Hotline are always ready and willing to talk.

“As a nation, as a community, we’ll work together to figure out what this is only going to mean for us,” Grizinski said.

If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts — no matter what the trigger — Help Hotline is here to provide you with support and the reminder that you’re not alone.

All you have to do is dial 211.