Crisis concerns coming into Harris County hotline

HOUSTON – Since March 18, the Harris Center for Mental Health has been taking calls from across Texas.

They’ve found many of us are experiencing abnormal amounts of anxiety, fear, and feelings of isolation.

Director Jennifer Battle said they’re prepared to be a comforting voice on the phone but are also prepared for people in real crisis due to job loss, financial struggles and illness.

“A lot of our viewers are just in need of reassurance and a kind and empathetic voice, our team are well-versed in trying to help people talk about coping skills in things they can do inside their home. Which is not always what we would typically say. You know, some of the things that are normal ways of coping with different situations are not available: you can’t go over to a friends house, you can’t meet up with somebody for coffee, you can go outside but only if your social distancing correctly,” Battle explained.

Therefore, she said they’re advising people to ground themselves from home, be mindful of your daily activities and set boundaries on media usage.

The most common concern, Battle said, is coming from family members of people working in essential jobs like healthcare.

"Our community is working very hard to make sure essential staff are taken care of and have the equipment and technology and the PPE that they need," Battle said.

To reach the crisis line, call 1-833-986-1919.