The mental health impacts of the coronavirus are real, significant, growing and must be addressed to limit any additional harm. We have seen a rise in stress and fear as a result of school closures, lost jobs, stay-at-home orders, empty grocery store shelves, and the downturn in our economy.
Mental Health America of Greater Houston’s Board Chair, Dr. Asim Shah, shares two important ways to lessen coronavirus anxiety:
- Distinguish the facts from rumors and don’t panic because that can cause more issues than the disease itself.
- If we remain calm and limit our exposure to excessive media coverage, we can all handle this better.
Mental Health America of Greater Houston is working hard to lead others out of this trauma and towards recovery. If you are in need of mental health support, please express your concerns with a loved one and utilize the resources or hotlines below.
LOCAL SUPPORT AND RESOURCES
Anyone currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. Harris County residents without access to healthcare can call the triage line for COVID-19-related questions at 713-634-1110 from 9am-7pm, 7 days a week. For more information on COVID-19, visit ReadyHarris or HCPHTX.
Harris County/Houston Self-Assessment Tool: Testing information for COVID-19.
Coronavirus: Houston Health Updates: Local cases, testing sites and hospital capacity information.
Second Servings’ “Dinner’s on Us” Program: Program is focused on providing take-home, chef-prepared family meals to furloughed and unemployed hospitality workers in Houston.
Houstonians with disabilities can still contact MOPD staff for referrals and constituent services by calling 832-394-0814 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org during normal business hours.
NAMI Houston Online Peer and Family Support Groups.
Behavioral Health Connections provides 24-7 on demand comprehensive mental health services to include: mobile assessments, tele-video assessments, and tele-video psychiatric consultations for patients in medical facilities. All services focus on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and disposition of patients needing mental health evaluation, recommendation and care.
Greater Heights Holistic Psychiatry is offering free psychiatric consultation for people who are going though stress related to this pandemic but cannot afford to consult a mental health provider due to financial hardship. The service will be provided free of cost via tele-psychiatry.
For questions about COVID‑19, including finding a doctor or accessing medical care, dial 2‑1‑1, then choose Option 6.
(Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7 days per week)
Crisis Intervention Hotline of Houston: Operates free, confidential, anonymous crisis and suicide prevention counseling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
TEEN: 832-416-1199 (CALL)
TEEN: 281-201-4430 (TEXT)
Baylor College of Medicine Mental Health Support Line: 713-634-1110 (Available 24/7)
Harris Health System: 713-634-1110* (*This number is 9am-7pm, everyday clinical-related questions only)Houston Health Department: 832-393-4220* (*This number is staffed 9 a.m. to 7p.m. M-F, 9am-3pm on Sat.)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1.800.799.7233 or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services toll free at 1-800-252-5400, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also file a report using the secure TDFPS website. Reports made through this website take up to 24 hours to process. The Texas Abuse Hotline is 1-800-252-5400.
Fort Bend County Residents
For additional compiled resources about COVID-19, click here.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Mental Health America: Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources
- COVID-19 Mental Health Support
- FREE Mental Health Screening
- Living With Mental Illness During COVID-19 Outbreak- Preparing For Your Wellness
- May 2020 Mental Health Month
World Health Organization: Mental Health Department as support for mental and psychological well-being during COVID-19.
- Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak
- Q&A on COVID-19 and Mental Health with WHO’s Aiysha Malik
Center for Disease Control: Learning how to cope will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
- Managing Stress and Anxiety
- Reducing stress in yourself and others
- Information for parents
- Information for responders
SAMSHA: Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak
Military One Source: Coronavirus updates for our military community
U.S Department of Veteran Affairs: Coronavirus FAQs- What Veterans Need To Know
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ free mobile app COVID Coach: this app was created by VA’s National Center for PTSD and is intended for everyone, including Veterans and Servicemembers. Its purpose is to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. App features include education about coping during the pandemic, tools for self-care and to improve emotional well-being, trackers to check your mood and measure your growth toward personal goals, and graphs to visualize progress over time. COVID Coach can be used as a stand-alone education and self-care tool or as a supplement to professional mental health care.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND CAREGIVERS
Click here to view our Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19 and Student Mental Health.
Click here to view COVID-19 and Its Impact on Student Mental Health: An Online Conversation
Center for School Behavioral Health at MHA of Greater Houston: COVID 19 Resource List (Updated May 15, 2020)
TCHATT- Texas Child Health Access Thru Telemedicine: Families can, with a referral from their school receive, a free assessment and 4 appointments virtually at their home or school.
- BCM therapist/physician at select schools in Houston, Pasadena, Sheldon, Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Spring and Conroe ISDs
- UT Houston therapist/physician at select schools in HISD, Bloom Academy Charter School, Yes Prep Public Schools, Sanchez Charter School, Alief ISD, Aldine ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Lamar CISD, Spring Branch ISD
- TCHATT Brochure for Parents
CPAN-Child Psychiatry Access Network– for Primary Care Physicians to consult with the BCM or UT Houston team to help PCPs while in office with families around mental health concerns. If a family wants to talk with their PCP first- they can rest assured that the PCP has a mental health team prepared to help with finding resources, providing guidance for the PCP to help the family with behaviors or discuss medical options for treatment if needed. Parents should tell their PCP to call CPAN when they have a concern for their child’s emotional health.
SAMHSA Be Well Be Connected –BCM partnered with the City of Houston and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Youth ages 9-18 who may have Bipolar disorder or Psychosis can be referred to Harris Health or TCH Psychiatry Clinics- after an assessment, if the diagnosis is confirmed, then family/child can receive intensive in-home therapy to address the child’s mental health disorder. The therapy can be in person or tele-health to assist with social distancing. The therapy is at no cost to the family.
National Alliance for Caregiving: COVID-19 resources for caregivers
Ready Rosie- Covid-19 Toolkit for parents of young children (English and Spanish): Healthy At Home
If you have children under the age of 5, please visit HarrisCountyKids.com to complete an early childhood survey.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network- Resources
Zero to Three– Tips for families talking about the coronavirus
#COVIBOOK: A free, printable book for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. (available in several languages)
Mandalas to Print and Color– Encourage self-soothing activities
Age of Learning– Learning at home for free
To find free meals for children offered at schools or community centers near you, use TEA’s School Meal Finder Tool located here or view Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s Curbside Meal Program locations here.
To find or donate baby formula, food, and/or supplies, contact L.I.F.E. Houston.</pIf you or someone you know is an essential worker that needs access to emergency child care and/or financial support for emergency childcare, you can fill out this form to apply for help finding both resources at ChildCareNow.org. Representatives from Collaborative for Children and/or Workforce Solutions will contact you within two business days to share information about quality, licensed child care centers, and the financial assistance options that best fit your needs.