Free Covid-19 mental health counseling still available to El Pasoans – KVIA El Paso

EL PASO, Texas — More than a year in a half into the Covid-19 pandemic, El Pasoans are still recovering in many ways, especially mentally. But there is help out there for you that you may not even know about.

Emergence Health Network’s Covid-19 Counseling Program is completely free for people who live within El Paso County and will likely continue through January of 2022.

“We’ve all struggled through Covid-19, either with physical symptoms, or emotional symptoms, isolation, changes in work structure, loss of job loss of normalcy,” said Chief of Clinical Services with Emergence Health Network, Celeste Nevarez. “We are here to help guide (you) through that and cope with all of that..our reaction is normal, the situation is not.”

The program, run by FEMA, has been around since May. Nevarez said they saw a large wave of calls to the programs hotline during the Covid-19 outbreak in the fall of 2020, and more recently as kids and teachers made their way back to in-person instruction.

According to the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation, 13.6 percent of adults in the county experienced stress or , depression, just to name a few for more than two weeks over a period of a month, compared to the rest of the state at 11.6 percent and the U.S. at 13 percent.

“Just because we’re a year and a half in, doesn’t mean we’ve had a year and a half to really process all of our emotions in regard to this major change in our life,” Nevarez said”

The program is free and anonymous. You can call the hotline at 915-779-1800 or visit ccprelaxtion.org. There, you can find free online resources, like quick meditations to help.

You can also dial 2-1-1 to direct you to any of Emergence Health Network’s many resources.

“If this is your very first time calling, there is no timeline to this…there’s no expiration date,” Nevarez said.

Courtesy of Emergence Health Network

Here are some common mental health warning signs/symptoms to look out for according to the city:

· Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks

· Trying to harm, end one’s life or making plans to do so

· Severe risk-taking behavior

· Sudden overwhelming fear or worries that get in the way of daily activities

· Significant weight loss or weight gain

· Seeing, hearing, or believing things that are not real

· Excessive alcohol use

· Drastic mood swings

· Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still

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