The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals and families around the world. Here in northeastern Oklahoma, studies have shown an increase in depression, anxiety, suicide, substance abuse, and domestic violence.

Echota Behavioral Health is offering help and assistance for those who are suffering and in need of help.

"What we have found is that public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and alone, leading to more stress and anxiety," said Jimmie Fite, director of Echota Behavioral Health. "That's why we wanted to offer these classes to help those in our communities better deal with the situation and let them know they are not alone."

Echota is offering special group classes throughout the week, and most classes and individual sessions can be coordinated to be in person or virtual, depending on the situation and an individual's specific needs. Classes include substance abuse, burn out, grief, pain management, tobacco cessation, parenting skills, men's and women's depression and anxiety, protective parenting and anger management. All classes are led by professional therapists and are certified by the courts and other referring agencies.

"We are here to help people become stronger," she said. "We are about helping people, which makes them and their families stronger, which in turn makes our communities stronger."

For a list of classes and times, visit echotabehavioralhealth.org, or call 918-708-9009 for more information.

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