SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A local law enforcement group is looking to call attention to what they see as an increase in people in crisis during the pandemic.

Mindi Russell told FOX40 that the team at the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento are no strangers to crisis calls but they have been getting more since the onset of COVID-19.

“One call that I got one night late was ‘Tell me why I shouldn’t kill myself?’” Russell recalled. “One person, two of his family members got COVID-19, was very, very ill, and so he was afraid he was going to get it.”

Russell said her office has been responding to an increased number of calls from people suffering from the mental impacts of COVID-19.

Their circumstances are varied: “One that lost their job and another one that can’t do their job anymore because they don’t want to go out as essentials and working at that hot zone,” Russell explained.

Russell said she believes, since the beginning of the pandemic, they have stopped 11 people from taking their lives.

She said the key to helping more people is empowering the community to help each other.

“There’s a lot more despair, a lot more discouragement, and that all leads to a funnel which we call hopelessness,” Russell explained.

On Saturday, November 7, Russell’s office is hosting a suicide awareness training and will continue to operate a 24/7 hotline which people can call if they are feeling in need.

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If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, you can call 911 or reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with someone online.

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