KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- People being urged to keep contact with friends and family through the coronavirus crisis as a new troubling trend sets in across the metro and nation.
"Beyond all of the washing hands, is talking with your loved ones about what's important to you in your living," said Dr. Mitchell Douglass, University of Kansas Health System Marillac Campus medical director.
Doctors say there has been a major drop in calls for non-coronavirus help and concerns. That includes everything from heart attacks to mental health.
"There's probably a lot of reasons people aren't coming. Maybe they're trying to stay at home, or being afraid that they could get sicker if they come to the hospital. I think it's so important to know all of the efforts the hospital takes to make sure this place is safe for all of the patients and for the providers who are here," Douglass said.
Douglass says it's numbers for teens and youth at risk of self harm and suicide have also dropped -- many waiting until their breaking point.
"What we are seeing is that patients are coming in after very severe near lethal suicide attempts, and I'm very worried there are families out there with children, adolescents who are showing warning signs that they are at risk of attempting suicide but their families are scared to come to the hospital for fear of the coronavirus," Douglass said.
He says the hospital is taking precautionary steps to keep patients and staff safe including checking temperatures twice daily, wearing masks and cleaning vigorously.
If you or anyone you know is having trouble and dealing with thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is still open. Call 1-800-273-8255 to get help now.