SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As the pandemic continues Heartland Counseling Services Inc., is seeing an influx of clients.
“This year has been a roller coaster for sure. We’ve seen a large increase in cases and then a dip. I think when people we’re feeling a little more comfortable and it seems like now we’re having a spike again of people seeking services,” Jennifer Jackson, the Executive Director of Heartland Counseling Services, said.
She said the center typically sees around 20 clients weekly, but this past week, that number has more than doubled.
“It made a big difference in my life today. I just don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t just taken that first step to reach out,” David Luiken, a client at Heartland, said.
Luiken is a veteran. He said he’s dealt with mental health issues and substance abuse most of his life but he said reaching out for help saved him.
“I didn’t even know whether I’d make it through the winter because I spent a lot of winters outside the last couple of years…. They always say it’s the darkest before the sun comes out, I’m a believer in that. A miracle happened in my life just recently. I wouldn’t be sitting here doing this interview today if there hadn’t had been somebody there willing to me because I just couldn’t get a break anywhere,” Luiken said.
Jackson said they’ve added on staff to keep up with the demand.
With the added stress of the pandemic she adds it’s more important now than ever to focus on being mentally healthy.
“It’s so critical for all of us to be taking care of ourselves and it just goes back to the basic needs. Sleep, drinking lots of water, eating healthy foods and exercising,” Jackson said.