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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Nevada organization focusing on mental health says that the call volume for its mental health hotline increased by 217% in 2020 compared to last year. 

The Nevada branch of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) says half the calls mentioned COVID-19 as a stressor and reported experiencing depression. During mandatory lockdowns for COVID-19 last year, there was a 600% increase in call volume, the organization says. 

The organization anticipates it will continue to deal with increased queries as social distance requirements remain in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“I think it’s safe to say that regardless of your belief systems, there are stressors in our lives” said Robin Reedy, executive director of NAMI Nevada. “Even as we see the stigma of mental health conversations lessen, the sheer number of individuals realizing they need assistance is growing because of the inescapable circumstances we find ourselves in.”

In 2019, NAMI fielded an estimated 3,300 calls from residents looking for mental health resources and guidance. Over 11 months in 2020, the organization says it received 10,468 calls. Reports of anxiety and social isolation rose from 50% to 80%, according to NAMI data. 

Those who may need help navigating a mental health crisis can call the Nevada Helpline at (775) 470-5600. Additionally, there is a "warmline" for Nevadans to call confidentially and receive "peer support" from people who have experienced trauma related to living with mental illness. The warmline for peer mental health support is available at 775-241-4212.

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