York Regional EMS sees uptick in mental health-related calls


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — The coronavirus pandemic can be a stressful situation to navigate. Joseph Stevens, Chief of York Regional EMS, says his department has seen an uptick in mental health-related calls such as anxiety attacks, suicide attempts, and overdoses. 

“We generally see an uptick in those types of calls when large events occur. Whether they are international or local, but have a general effect on the public and the population, specifically when there is a major change that throws them out of their normal routine,” Stevens said.

Stevens says not every patient they treat needs to be taken to the hospital, some call for reassurance or to express concerns. 

“Sometimes it’s just providing them with resources, lending an ear for a couple of minutes to listen to what their concerns are. [What] their anxiety is and to try and relate to them,” he said.

Stevens says he understands the change is uncomfortable for a lot of people but says it is necessary to flatten the curve and keep others safe. 

‘This is very real and this is a very critical event, so stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing, which in this case is staying at home, that’s the right thing to do at this point,” Stevens said. “It’s tremendously helpful to not just EMS, but to health care across the state, around the world and it is absolutely critical that everyone help out.” 

Text PA to 741-741 to reach the crisis text line if you or someone you know is in need of help.

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