List of coronavirus hotlines and mental health resources available
Worried about COVID-19? Here’s a state-by-state list of helplines you can call to get advice.
As the number of cases of the novel coronavirus continues its upward trend in the United States, the nation’s healthcare systems continue to stretch beyond capacity. Add heightened feelings of anxiety and depression due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, and many Americans are left wondering where to turn to for help.
The US government has yet to set up federal coronavirus hotlines, unlike other countries like Australia and Canada. Instead, it’s relying on state governments and nonprofits to provide resources to Americans affected by COVID-19.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19
Most states have set up hotlines to offer coronavirus-related advice. And if not, you can likely call 211 to get directed to community information and referral services in your area.
If you’re concerned you’ve been exposed to the virus and are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever or cough, most state health departments recommend that you call your primary care provider first. If you don’t have one, state hotlines can help you figure out next steps to take and where to get tested.
If you believe you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 for immediate assistance.
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Mental health hotlines
The spread of COVID-19 has created a large amount of uncertainty and anxiety. Whether you’re concerned about your health, job security or feeling isolated because of social distancing, turn to these national resources for help:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 800-273-8255 to get connected to 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services. You can also chat with someone online by visiting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. You can find even more resources available on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
- Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor for 24/7 support through the Crisis Text Line.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522 to connect with a trained domestic violence advocate. You can also chat with someone online by visiting the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.
- Veterans Crisis Line. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255 to get connected to crisis intervention specifically for veterans and their loved ones. Or chat with someone online by visiting the Veterans Crisis Line website.
On top of these helplines, a wide range of additional mental health services are available for access from your home. Use the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website to find a list of mental health resources available if you’re concerned for yourself or someone you love.
Resources available for healthcare workers
As healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic deal with unprecedented stress, we’ve seen a resurgence of making mental health services more readily available to nurses, doctors, EMTs and other healthcare professionals.
Many hospitals around the country have created wellness task forces and other programs to help physicians and nurses deal with burnout and reinforce well-being during this pandemic.
For example, the University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa is offering free mental health care to any medical professional or first responder in Alabama. And Rush University Medical Center in Chicago created a Wellness Response Team made up of 25 experts — including psychiatrists, chaplains, psychologists and advanced practice providers — to support healthcare workers and promote mental health and well-being.
In addition, lawmakers are petitioning to include funding for mental health screenings and treatment for healthcare workers in the next coronavirus stimulus package.
Where to find more information about COVID-19
You can also visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest news releases and updates related to the coronavirus as they become available.