Asking for Help is the First Step
Let’s be honest. Social isolation and loneliness can be crippling for all ages, leading to bouts of sadness, or longer lasting depression and despondency. Depression rates have been on the rise particularly for boomers since last March, with few, if any, of us unaffected by COVID-19-related illnesses or deaths.
Regardless of the reason, if you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed, free and confidential mental health resources are available locally.
The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health has a free phone line to support the emotional health of state residents coping with the stressors of COVID-19. Trained specialists and clinicians are on call 24/7/365 in multiple languages to assist those needing help before a crisis occurs. Call 1.833.333.1132.
The Thomas E. Chambers Counseling and Training Center, at the University of Holy Cross, provides free, remote community counseling. Staffed primarily by graduate students in the university’s master’s-level counseling program who have received education and training in working with a variety of client concerns. These students are supervised by department faculty members.15- to 50-minute sessions by phone or Zoom. Mon. through Thurs., 11 am-8 pm. Call 504.398.2168.
VIA LINK, a local United Way agency, has crisis intervention counselors available 24/7 for those going through a hard time, having suicidal thoughts or just needing to talk. Call 1.800.273.TALK (8255). They also can provide information and referrals to local mental health services, substance abuse treatment, senior services, and more, by calling 2-1-1.
Metropolitan Human Services District’s Metro Crisis Response Team has a 24-hour helpline for those having a mental health, addiction or disability crisis. Call 504.826.2675. Peer support groups and individual counseling also available. Call 504.568.3130.