Wayne State mental health counselors offer free services for pandemic stress, depression

"Things are unpredictable. What we're experiencing is a lot of mental anguish," said Dr. Brandi Pritchett-Johnson. 

So many are feeling anxious and depressed during this global pandemic.

 "Frustrated, stressed. And it's really related to the uncertainty," said Johnson. COVID-19 has left many of us feeling helpless.

Combine that with isolation - and so many of us - have been pushed into different roles. 

"We're serving as teachers, we're working at home, our jobs are on the line for many of us," said Johnson, the professor and dean of Theoretical/Behavior Foundations.

But there's help out there even if you simply need to vent. 

"When we are in a heightened state of arousal, meaning distress it is hard to think clearly," said Dr. Francesca Pernice, assistant professor and director of counseling psychology.

The Mental Health and Wellness Clinic at Wayne State University which is a graduate student training clinic, is offering free counseling for anyone across the state. All you need is a phone or a computer. 

"We want to be convenient, accessible and obviously safe," Pernice said.

The program has 50 clinicians ready to serve Wayne County and beyond, is offering school and community counseling, art therapy, outreach and support - along with an array of therapeutic services.

"For individuals, families, couples, children - you name it," Pernice said.

But these doctors know getting vulnerable with a stranger can be uncomfortable at first. "It's OK to be nervous and it's OK to be scared, it's OK to be anxious," Pernice said.

But scheduling a consultation is simple. You can fill out a questionnaire online and someone with the clinic will get back to you in roughly 48 hours.

You can take a look at who may be a good fit for you, kind of like swiping right or left. 

"If you want to feel comfortable you will always be waiting," Pernice said.

And if you aren't ready to speak with a professional, these doctors remind all of us to reflect and ask ourselves what is it that brings you joy or a sense of peace. Whether it's meditation, listening to your favorite songs, taking a walk or talking to a friend. 

"If there is a person in your life that restores calm for you, make them your screensaver," Pernice said.

Don't let this crisis bury so many opportunities for happiness. 

"We are here for you," said Pernice. 

"And we want you to know that we've got folks you can reach out to so you're not alone," said Johnson.

For more information, call 313-577-8744 or go online to learn more HERE.