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COVID-19 stress counseling is available and free to Utahns

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- COVID-19 stress counseling is now available and free for Utahns.  The Utah Strong Recovery Project is providing support for mental health damaged by the stress of COVID-19. 

A media release from the Project says, “services include emotional support, crisis counseling, mental health education and coping strategies, and referral to additional services and professional help, if needed. All information is confidential and free of charge.  ”

Robert Snarr, the state’s grant administrator for the Recovery Project, says most have us have never gone through anything like this. It is important Utahns feel they can receive the COVID-19 stress counseling they need. 

“It is normal to feel stress at a time when you may be experiencing isolation, economic hardship, health worries, or the loss of a loved one. We want to talk through those feelings and provide you with professionally-led guidance on how you can cope with the changes in your world in a healthy, mentally strong way,” reported Snarr. 

The statement says more than 40 crisis counselors are at the ready.  Snarr says they’ve already helped more than 150 people in targeted outreach. “Folks are feeling anxiety, fear, some folks are feeling sad and depressed because they can’t see their family or friends… as long as this goes on, it can cause a lot of stress.”

The Utah Strong call center is open 7a to 7p, seven days a week.  You can call or text 385-386-2289 to chat with a counselor, or email your first name and phone number to UtahStrong@utah.gov.  If you need an immediate response after hours, call the Utah statewide Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990. Video chat and counseling in Spanish and other languages are available.  

Snarr says there is no limit on help.  “We’ve been able to help folks with one call, and they would like more than one call we can reach out to them every day if needed.”