The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering a support program to residents who have experienced debilitating moments of anxiety, depression, or other emotions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Be Kind to Your Mind” campaign allows Michiganders to partner with a crisis counselor from the 24-hour Stay Well counseling line where residents can speak to someone seven days a week.
“Many of us are having a hard time right now,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon in a press release. “There should be zero shame and zero stigma – just honesty that can help each of us find our own inner strength. ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ says you can talk about the strain from COVID with trained counselors who are available for free if you call 888-535-6136 and press 8, or visit Michigan.gov/StayWell.”
The counselors are prepared to take calls from Michiganders who are experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, or loneliness.
“Stay Well counselors help people understand their feelings and reactions during a disaster like the COVID-19 pandemic,” said psychiatrist Dr. Debra Pinals, MDHHS’ medical director for behavioral health. “While they are not licensed mental health professionals, they have undergone training provided by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on how to help people mentally rebound from disasters.”
The hotline is available to all residents. Non-English speaking residents will communicate with a language translator.