DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — UnityPoint Health’s Behavioral Health Urgent Center is seeing more patients with mental health disorders since the start of the pandemic. 

Mental Health Counselor Chris Miller has worked in the mental health industry for four years. However, he said lately he has cared for more patients who are dealing with anxiety and depression. Other health professionals believe the uptick of patients is due to the pandemic and the winter blues. 

“It’s not just this Winter but throughout the whole pandemic mental health needs have almost tripled,” said UnityPoint Health Psychiatric Nurse Practioner Jennifer Blume. 

According to Mayo Clinic Health System if you are dealing with anxiety some early warning signs include shakiness, increased heart rate, tightness in the chest or rapid breathing, and racing thoughts. 

Meanwhile, some signs of depression include constantly thinking negative thoughts, feelings of sadness, and isolation. 

However, there is a variety of coping skills. Blume suggests, “deep breathing, is the 5,4,3,2,1 method that our therapists can go through. [Also] exercise eating healthy but also don’t wait to reach out for help if you need help that’s why we’re here.”

UnityPoint says they help patients ranging from 12 years and older. The center also encourages future patients to walk in rather than call to receive care.