State announces new COVID mental health helpline for Moore County

The state recently announced a COVID-19 Crisis Helpline for Moore and 20 other Middle Tennessee counties. Call 888-460-4351 if you need to talk to someone. It’s free and confidential. {File Photo}

A COVID-related illness or death of a loved one, the isolation of social distancing, unemployment, the stress of working from home, remote learning … it’s a lot. According to a recent East Tennessee State University poll more than half of Tennesseans reported feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in the week before the poll.  More than two in five respondents reported feeling depressed (43.4%) and lonely (42.8%).

But help is available for those who reach out.

The Tennessee Department of Health recently announced a new mental health tool for those suffering from mental health stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moore County will be one of 21 counties in Middle Tennessee supported by the Tennessee Recovery Project’s COVID-19 helpline at 888-460-4351.

The new helpline will also serve Bedford, Cheatham, Coffee, Davidson, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Perry, Robertson, Stewart, and Wayne counties.

A volunteer staff will answer the new helpline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s available to anyone struggling with emotional stressors due to the pandemic. Staff will connect callers with local resource that can help.

“There are a lot of people out there, dealing with stress, anxiety, fear, and depression, who are hurting right now.  We want people to know that it’s OK to not feel OK right now and that help is available, and thanks to this grant, the department and our community providers will be able to help more people,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “We are grateful to our federal partners for this funding, and the department is committed to leveraging all available resources to support the needs of Tennesseans and the community providers who serve them.”

Federal grant dollars fund the new helpline through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and in partnership with Centerstone, the Tennessee Recovery Project, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. It’s part of a larger grant that seeks to offer crisis counseling in all 95 Tennessee counties.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Recovery Project Disaster Crisis Counseling Program’s Facebook page by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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