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Crisis Counseling Program offers mental health help during pandemic

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Louisiana Spirit Crisis Counseling Program is a service that allows mental health counseling to those affected by the pandemic.

“Whether that effect is as little as having anxiety [regarding COVID-19] … to as large as having had COVID or dealing with the grief and loss of someone due to COVID,” said Allison Dean, Crisis Counselor for the program.

This grant-funded program started through the Central Louisiana Human Services District in June of 2020 when COVID-19 was at its peak.

The program offers clients the opportunity of remote and guideline-safe counseling.

“We’ll go to them,” said Dean. “Whether that be by phone, text message, email, Zoom calls, FaceTime…”

Fighting against the stigmas surrounding mental health is something the program strives to do.

“[People think] ‘there’s other people worse than me’ or ‘I’m not as bad as the person next to me’,” said Dean. “It doesn’t have to be that bad… you don’t have to wait until [your mental health] is that bad.”

The main priorities for the counselors in the program are to help clients cope with the trauma they may have gone through because of the pandemic and allow them to restore their mental health.

Counselors encourage people not to hesitate to receive help if they need it.

“Seek help now to prevent future crises that may escalate into something severe,” Dean says.

Clients who receive counseling through this program are guaranteed anonymity, so they can feel comfortable to step forward and ask for help when they need it.

“We are here to be a listening ear,” said Dean.

For more information regarding the counseling program, along with resources available in your area, visit conquercovid19.la, call or text their hotline at 1-855-487-5191 or email them at CenlaCCP@la.gov.

Resources are free and available to those of all ages.

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