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October 1, 2020

Houston Health Department launching COVID-19 mental health support program, helpline

The Houston Health Department is launching a new effort to support mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and the department announced Tuesday.

Let’s Beat COVID-19: Health Education, and Support Services includes a mental health helpline and other resources to help people adjust mentally and emotionally.

The helpline launches October 1 and is open 7 days per week from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. through December 24. People may call 713-999-9442 to reach a trained mental health professional who will provide appropriate intervention and follow-up.

"The stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is felt by millions of Houstonians every day,” said Stephen L. Williams, director of the Houston Health Department. “These services are available to anyone but focus on parents and guardians of school-age children, childcare providers, teachers, and City of Houston staff on the frontlines of the pandemic.”

In addition to the helpline, the program will also offer virtual support groups, toolkits, trainings, and other resources to support people’s mental and emotional needs.

The program, supported by $340,326 of CARES Act funding, will focus on high positivity zip codes, parents dealing with virtual learning stressors, and city staff working on the frontlines of COVID-19.