SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The pandemic has caused an increase in mental health issues, and those who struggle with eating disorders had a difficult time coping when the structure of pre-COVID life went away.
The National Eating Disorders Association said they’ve seen 40-60% increase in calls to their helpline during the pandemic.
Rebecca Carpentier, program director at Sol Stone Center in Syracuse, said that when the pandemic began and stay-at-home orders were issued, she had to rethink the kinds of advice she would give to her patients.
“What I normally would tell my clients to do; reach out and see people, spend time with friends, connect and reconnect with people,” Carpentier said. “They weren’t able to do anymore.”
Carpentier said the food scarcity and hoarding at the beginning of the pandemic was especially triggering for many patients. Combined with that, she said so many unknowns negatively impacted peoples’ mental health issues.
“I think a lot of the adults have been struggling with hope for the future and not knowing what the future will look like,” Carpentier said.
Sol Stone was able to provide in-person treatment throughout the pandemic, which Carpentier said they are very fortunate for.
But she also said that with many centers offering virtual treatment, it gave people without physical access to a center the opportunity to receive help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder and needs immediate attention, call the national eating disorders helpline at 1-800-931-2237.