HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — Mental health is an ongoing crisis amid the pandemic and the holiday season could exacerbate the situation.
Christian McFalls lost his best friend Dalton 5 years ago during the holidays.
The accident on Black Friday sent McFalls into a spiral and today he works to help others struggling with depression, anxiety and addiction.
"I isolated myself from people," says McFalls. "For a long time I was alone after the accident that took his beautiful life."
To combat the ongoing mental health crisis, healthcare workers are needed now more than ever.
However, Tennessee is struggling to find workers to meet the growing need.
Carley Chollman, is a mental health therapist at the Chattanooga Recovery Center. Chollman says they constantly have people reaching out to them who struggled to find support.
A lot of these clients are coming to us in a place of desperation. They've reached out to so many people and are saying this is my last option can you please help me,” says Chollman.
A recent report by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health says there are only enough mental health workers for around 13 percent of the state's population.
At the Chattanooga Recovery Center, Kate Dullard says finding help is difficult.
"A lot of the mental health providers out here, there is a lot of need, but not as much help it feels like," says Dullard.
Despite the shortage, many healthcare workers are encouraging people to reach out and receive their support.