HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department’s new hotline for treating mental health issues during the pandemic has received hundreds of calls since it launched in October.
“People are under a lot of stress and pressure,” said Dr. Janice Beal, program director of Let’s Beat’s COVID-19 hotline.
Consultants have taken more than 800 calls since October and are currently averaging 30 to 40 a day, she said.
“You call with all kinds of problems and it’s worrying that when you have no way out or can’t see a way out, people are asking for help right now,” said Beal.
The holiday season is just around the corner, but months after the pandemic, not everyone is celebrating.
The Harris Center for Mental Health has a dedicated phone line to attend to mental health issues related to COVID-19. Jennifer Battle, director of Access, said the center’s call volume has increased slightly over the past few months.
“We’re definitely talking to more people who are worse off,” said Battle. “We believe that when the pandemic started, people put off looking for regular mental health care and tried to be self-sufficient, perhaps at home, and are now getting to the point where they need professional care. ”
According to Battle, people can virtually stay connected throughout the holiday season to help them get through challenging times. However, if that is not enough, call for help.
The Harris Center for Mental Health:
COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line: 1-833-986-1919
The Harris Center Crisis Line: 713-970-7000, option 1
Houston Health Department:
Let’s hit the COVID hotline: 713-999-9442. The hotline is open seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. until December 24th.
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