Statewide resource helps with pandemic-related stress
Texas Health and Human Services says they’ve received more than 20,000 calls to their COVID-19 mental health support line since March 2020.
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Texas Health and Human Services offers a free, 24/7, statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or other emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to provide a resource that was easily accessible, that provided support and helped them manage stress during the pandemic,” Trina Ita, Texas HHS Associate Commissioner, Behavioral Health Services said.
Ita says they’re answering calls every day.
“Since its inception in March 2020, we’ve received upwards of 20,000 calls from more than 200 counties across Texas,” Ita said.
She emphasized that you don’t have to have any specific questions when you call. You can call just talk to someone about how you’re feeling.
“You’ll be able to speak with somebody who you can just talk to about being stressed, what kind of impact the pandemic is having on you, and just receive that general mental health support,” Ita explained. “If there’s a need beyond that general support, then you can be referred to other services for ongoing care.”
Operated by the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, the support line offers trauma-informed support and psychological first aid from mental health professionals.
Counseling services are confidential and completely free of charge to people who call the hotline.
“You can be anonymous. You don’t have to say your age, your name, or provide any private information. You can just call and say ‘I’m looking for some support,’” Ita said.
The purpose of the hotline is to remind people who are struggling that they are not alone and Ita encourages people to call if they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
“The people on the other end of the line are there to help, and really support them and provide them with what they’re asking for and need during this time,” she said.
You can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-986-1919.
For general health-related information and precautions on COVID-19, people can visit the DSHS webpage and the CDC webpage. To stay up-to-date on the latest news impacting HHS services and regulated providers, people can visit the HHS COVID-19 webpage.
For more information on mental health resources, find your local mental health authority here.
To learn more about the mental health support line, watch the full interview with Trina Ita below:
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