Mental Health Month has landed, appropriately, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. More people are experiencing stress, anxiety, and other daily challenges to their mental health while obeying orders to stay at home and maintain social distances from other people. Many businesses continue to be closed, as Austin’s stay-at-home orders have been extended to the end of May. However, there are available Austin resources for mental health care that can help you through these difficult times.
Call Now If You Are in Crisis
If you have an immediate need for help for a mental health issue, there are phone numbers you can call now. If you are feeling the effects of extreme stress or anxiety, call and talk to someone at one of these resources:
- Austin/Travis County Crisis Hotline: 512-472-HELP
- Suicide Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4889)
- Veteran Crisis Line: if you are thinking about suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1
- The Trevor Project: LGBTQ crisis lifeline, call 1-866-488-7386
- 2-1-1: will connect you to mental health and substance abuse services in your area.
- Texas Health and Human Services: call 833-986-1919 for COVID-19 related mental health support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.
Operated by the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, the support line offers trauma-informed support and psychological first aid to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. Counseling services are confidential and free of charge to people who call the hotline.
Online Support Groups
When you need support from others, you can still attend support groups virtually during COVID-19. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Texas hosts free support groups led by others who are living with a mental illness and who have the training to lead and facilitate the group. You can attend any group at any time, but you do need to register first. The NAMI Connection is for adults living with mental health conditions and will help you learn:
- How others share your same challenges
- What success can look like
- How to develop better coping skills
- Finding strength in shared experiences
- Laugh – because humor is healthy
- How to hold on to hope – because we never give up.
Outpatient Mental Health Providers
During COVID-19, many Austin resources for mental health care are available to you either through telehealth or in-office. Those professionals who are seeing clients in their offices will be following guidelines for keeping everyone safe and healthy. Call the numbers listed to speak with someone at the provider’s office about your need for mental health services.
Mental health providers in the Austin area include:
The Christi Center (grief/loss groups): 512-467-2600
2306 Hancock Dr., Austin TX 78756
Capital Area Counseling: 512-302-1000 x100
7703 N. Lamar Blvd Suite 500, Austin, TX 78752
Integral Care (multiple locations): 512-472-4357 (call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
East 2nd Street Clinic – Central Austin 1631 E. 2nd Street, Austin TX 78702
Richard E. Hopkins Behavioral Health Building 1165 Airport Blvd, 2nd floor, Austin, TX 78702
Waterloo Counseling Center: 512-444-9922
314 E Highland Mall Blvd Suite 301, Austin, TX 78752
Lone Star Circle of Care clinics, located in Austin, Bastrop, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Round Rock, Harker Heights, Hutto, Killeen, Marble Falls, and Taylor.
Lone Star notes that “Texas law requires that all patients, visitors, and staff must follow screening and testing policies for COVID-19.
- Before entering the clinic and before examination we screen patients for COVID-19 and take each visitor’s temperature.
- We ask that patients who are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms call to make an appointment before coming.
- Lone Star Circle of Care separates sick and well patients and we also offer Virtual Visits.”
You Can Get Help During COVID-19
Mental health challenges can be difficult even during “normal” times. Given the increased stress you may be experiencing during the coronavirus outbreak, Mental Health Month is a good time to reach out for help. At Sober Austin, we will continue to provide resources you need for substance abuse, mental health, and other areas you may struggle with in your life. If you or your loved need to learn more about available resources, please browse our site to learn more about finding support in Austin. Please feel free to contact us directly by calling 512-640-9661 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.