Appointments for therapists are booked up in the Valley; tips on what you can do

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:54 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -Losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with that loss can really take a toll on your mental health.

Many therapists in the area are booked leaving patients to wait weeks or even months before they can get an appointment.

“For me, she was very special. She always had a smile on her face,” said the grieving mother of 19-year-old Mariela Guzman Pinto.

Pinto died in the Moorhead tragedy on Saturday.

This mother, like many people, is facing a life of dealing with the loss of someone they love.

“Everyone is struggling, right now,” said Katrina Iszler, a clinical therapist at Solace Counseling.

Many rely on a therapist to help in times of grieving, but here in the valley, appointments are very slim.

“There is a high need for help. We continue to go through a pandemic,” said Iszler. “As well as, there aren’t enough clinicians in the area which makes us have really long waitlists.”

Some of the shortages are now the result of licensing rule changes, which is limiting the amount of access people have.

“If I’m in Moorhead, but my therapist is in North Dakota, that was ok. You could still have that session. Now some of those accommodations have gone away,” said Sherri Hashbarger, the director of marketing at the Village Family Service Center.

What do you do in your time of need as you wait for an appointment opening?

Iszler said, “one thing I would also consider is seeing if there are any support groups in your area like churches, schools, or other organizations.”

Hashbarger recommends some other tips.

“Just be taking care of yourself. Do what you can to reduce your stress level, prioritize your own needs, exercise, and get good nutrition,” she said.

If you’re in need of immediate help, call your primary care physician or 2-1-1.

Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.