Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa-To help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Muscatine County, Muscatine Center for Social Action knew they had to close their peer drop-in center. “Although we understand and support social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, it was hard to close the doors knowing that a lot of people would be without a resource,” said MCSA Resource Development Officer Jennifer Leirness. “That spurred the shift to virtual services, including phone and online support.”

To that end, MCSA worked with the Robert Young professional care coordinators to quickly get both call in and online mental health services available to those that need them. According to Leirness, the peer drop-in center has two distance support groups available, witch meet daily Monday through Friday, Dealing with Stress at 2 p. m. and Recovery Group at 3:30 p. m. Adults 18 or older may attend either of these groups for free by calling 563-200-2742 or by visiting Anyone looking for individual assistance may also call the peer drop-in center at any time to speak with a care coordinator. “The team is well trained and ready to provide mental health support, assistance with finding other resources, tips for working on coping skills, friendly support in general, and more,” elaborated Leirness.

Because the COVID-19 outbreak has caused stress and anxiety for many people, Leirness encourages anyone who thinks they may benefit from the peer drop-in center’s distance services to give them a try. “There should be no shame, fear, or embarrassment in seeking services, and we want to end this stigma,” emphasized Leirness: 

“In this time, especially when folks are potentially spending more time alone, not able to see friends or family, experiencing extra stress, needing some human contact, etc. we encourage them to reach out and talk to someone. The Robert Young Center staff are all warm, friendly individuals that are trained to give support, so if you are looking to talk to someone about mental health, this is the perfect way to start and learn more.”

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