Over one-third of New Jersey adults surveyed by the National Center for Health Statistics and Census Bureau from April to October reported symptoms of anxiety or depression resulting from COVID-19 related issues.
With the pandemic showing no signs of abating, and a fear of drastic rise in cases this fall into winter, these figures are sure to increase, according to a press release.
On the heels of a difficult election that has generated significant apprehension and taken an emotional toll on many New Jerseyans, along with seasonal affective disorder that can be caused from the end of Daylight-Saving Time, access to mental health resources are more important than ever.
To help residents navigate the emotional issues related to COVID-19, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ), is providing support services through the New Jersey Hope and Healing Crisis Counseling program (CCP). This initiative is supported by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services through a federal grant.
New Jersey residents finding it difficult to deal with the fear, loneliness, anxiety, anger, grief and feelings of disconnection are urged to connect with trained mental health staff through a variety of free and confidential services offered via phone, text or virtually as part of the New Jersey Hope and Healing CCP.
Residents can reach trained staff through the NJ MentalHealthCares Help Line by calling 866-202-HELP (4357) or simply texting NJHOPE to 51684 from 8AM – 8PM seven days a week.
The MHANJ team can provide emotional support via phone or chat, including a referral to a specific program or crisis counselor. Through the texting service, people may also opt in for comforting and nurturing care messages delivered via mobile phone to help them cope with emotional stress on a longer-term, ongoing basis.
In addition to the helpline and texting services, residents also have access to crisis counseling and virtual support groups. The MHANJ is offering a variety of support groups, including sessions for teachers, parents, seniors, healthcare workers and teens. The full schedule of groups can be found at https://www.mhanj.org/njhope/.
The NJ MentalHealthCares call line and texting services are equipped to serve Spanish-speaking residents of New Jersey. The MHANJ also offers virtual support groups for the Spanish-speaking community.
“This is a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before,” noted Carolyn Beauchamp, CEO of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, “And we are proud to work with the New Jersey State Department of Human Services to help the people of New Jersey and to guide them to the resources they need to get through this unprecedented crisis.”
For more information on available online virtual support groups visit the organization on Facebook and Twitter.