Mental health problems are on the rise in the Bay area, and the executive director of NAMI Hernando says the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly to blame.
“So before it was about 20% of the population, and now we’re looking at 40% percent have had a sign or symptom of mental health [problems] over the last year,” TIna Kinney said.
“When you think about our community has roughly 184,000 [people] that means about 73,000 people are struggling with their mental health this year.”
Kinney says the current space NAMI Hernando is working out of is no longer able to support the drastic increase in the need for help in the county, so she reached out to the state for help to expand their current building.
“We have been trying to get an appropriation to build the building so that we could make it a recovery community organization and be that one stop shop for residents of our community,” Kinney said.
“It’s a huge challenge because mostly privacy issues. In this office we literally have one closed door room where we can meet with individuals.”
The million-dollar appropriation would provide just that, and Kinney already has the support of local state representative Blaise Ingoglia, who already signed the appropriation request.
“Fortunately, we have a state where a lot of us are back to work, but it’s still taking a toll,” State Rep Blaise Ingoglia mentioned. “I’ve been a big fan of those types of programs and me doing this just goes to show you how much I care about the issue.”