Did you know that the COVID-19 pandemic is officially considered a federal disaster? People impacted by a disaster need immediate and long-term help to understand what is happening, how to understand their reactions, and where to go for help.
Fortunately, free disaster distress help is available through the “Show Me Hope Missouri” Crisis Counseling Program (CCP), coordinated in St. Louis by Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis.
Show Me Hope crisis counselors are available to meet with people at their synagogue, school, home or any public venue. They also provide services virtually. The program offers educational workshops on COVID-19 and the vaccination process. The organizations connects individuals to resources through their vast community network.
They also offer free confidential brief counseling services for individuals or groups that teach coping skills and stress management, enabling individuals to overcome the mental and/or physical challenges of this pandemic.
Show Me Hope Missouri is a statewide program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Locally, the Missouri Foundation for Health awarded $1.3 million to Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis (BHN) to coordinate the St. Louis efforts and bring in partners who can reach out to the most at-risk populations.
BHN partners with three community mental health centers (BJC Behavioral Health, Places for People and Hopewell Centers) along with six “extender” agencies/programs (Bridges to Care & Recovery, Alive and Well Communities, Casa de Salud, Mental Health of America, Safe Connections and VOYCE) to reach specialized populations including children/youth, teachers, and parents; the unhoused, immigrant, and encampment populations; and seniors/older adults and their caregivers/families.
“It is the goal of the Crisis Counseling Program to meet the people where they are and improve their well-being and resilience in their homes and community during this pandemic,” said Geraldine Smith, project manager of CCP.
Any individual experiencing stress or emotional strain because of the pandemic may contact Show Me Hope via the Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-985-5990.
Find more resources and information via MOSHowMeHope.Org
For more information on the St. Louis Crisis Counseling Program, contact Smith at [email protected] or 314-449-6713.