Although the COVID-19 pandemic has altered how the Abbe Mental Health Center delivers services, it still is there for those needing mental health support.

Located at 721 South 5th St. in Manchester, Abbe Mental Health Center provides specialized care for depression and anxiety, anger control, interpersonal problems, substance abuse, grief and loss, and psychosis.

Karen Schmitz is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with Abbe Mental Health Center. While she says she’s not sure if there is more of a need for mental health support during the pandemic, she has seen a shift.

“There is still a great need, but I would say it’s a different need,” she said. “Perhaps some people who didn’t have acute or chronic issues before do now. Perhaps they are struggling because they don’t know who to reach out to and what services might be available to them.”

Schmitz said it’s important for people to know they are not alone. “Unfortunately, there is a stigma that surrounds mental health. In this day and age, everybody is struggling to a certain degree, either with a new anxiety or building on existing anxieties.”

She said communication and understanding are key.

“People who have never experienced depression or anxiety in the past are kind of getting a glimpse of it and maybe can be more understanding of those who have chronically dealt with things like this. I think that’s why communication and openness is so important. We can help each other. It’s that tagline ‘we’re all in this along together.’ It’s kind of true with the pandemic. We are asked to stay apart physically, but supportive-wise we could come together.”

She said the Manchester location is open for making appointments and for injections, but no therapy or medication visits are available in the office. Schmitz said she holds visits either by phone or video.

“We can accommodate clients very safely from the comfort of their home. It’s worked out very well. Some are more comfortable by phone, while others prefer the video because we can see one another and interact.”

Schmitz advises those who aren’t sure if they can benefit from mental health services to call the office. “The people at the office can assist and help determine what may be right for them.”

She said the pandemic has affected everybody. “Everyone is dealing with a new normal and trying to define what that is like for them. Everyone’s response will be different.”

The Abbe Mental Health Center can be reached at 927-6700.

Other resources include:

• Foundation 2 Crisis Line: 319-362-2174 (counselors available)

• Abbe Health Warm Line: 844-775-9276

• Your Life Iowa: 855-581-8111