Mental health counseling available for those struggling during the pandemic

People are stressed out, there is no doubt about it. So many people have lost jobs, gotten sick, lost loved ones and are struggling, in some cases just to pay the bills and put food on the table.

There is help for people out there and all it takes is a phone call. It’s free and they are available for you.

It’s for men and women ages 18 and up but they can help steer kids in the right direction if they need help too. They provide everything from places to go to get tested for COVID to crisis intervention and counseling. Basically just helping people cope during difficult times.

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“The COVID-19 Connections are maybe someone who’s calling in and they don’t know where to go to get tested for COVID. They are experiencing some symptoms. They don’t know where to get tested. We get them a list of places,” Micheal Sims with Alliance Healthcare Services told FOX13.

Even more than that - it’s a hotline, a helpline if you need to talk. If you need to vent or simply need someone to listen.

“You’ve got mom and dad in the household and it trickles down to affecting the kids and the kids take that stress and anxiety, they take it and it goes to the school,” said Sims. “It also impacts your teachers, your firefighters, your first responders. It affects everyone. So, with this line we’ve been able to reach out to our community partners. They have helped us get the word out."

Health Advocates say you can help get the word out too by reaching out to friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Something as simple as a phone call or text message can make a big difference.

This is part of what’s called the TN Recovery Project, established by Gov. Bill Lee in April and funded by FEMA.

The number to call is 1-844-507-0144.