BIG SPRING - Crisis services will be provided to those affected by COVID-19 through a program offered by West Texas Centers, the mental health authority for a 23-county region in rural West Texas.
West Texas Centers, along with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA will provide the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) “Texans Recovering Together.” The White House declared Texas a major disaster area because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, thus freeing up federal funds.
“We are very excited to be offering assistance to the people of West Texas,” West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith said. “We have been challenged since early March to adapt to the changes brought about from COVID-19, and we believe we are in a strong position to deal with its fall-out.”
"Many people have either been ill, lost work, been isolated or kept apart from loved ones, which are all major stressors," said Smith, who is a licensed master social worker.
“Many are isolated, suffering financially, or doing without healthcare or are fearful of the health of a loved one” she said. “They are unable to leave their homes and if they are able to leave the house it’s often with the belief that they aren’t safe.”
The Crisis Counseling Program provides short-term interventions to assist disaster survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions, mitigating stress, reviewing their disaster recovery options, promoting the use or development of coping strategies, providing emotional support, and encouraging links with other individuals and agencies who may help survivors in their recovery process.
Services are provided at no cost, are confidential and available to anyone living in the 23-county region served by West Texas Centers.
West Texas Centers will provide:
- Emotional support
- Links to resources
Trained members of the West Texas Centers team can assist with:
- Recognizing common reactions to disasters
- Building coping skills for the recovery process
- Managing disaster-related stress
- Identifying and meeting children’s needs
Assistance is provided by calling (432) 213-0631 or the Texas Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990. There is no need for, or attempt to, identify a mental health diagnosis.
West Texas Centers serves people in: Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Fisher, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Howard, Kent, Loving, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reeves, Runnels, Scurry, Terrell, Terry, Upton, Ward, Winkler and Yoakum counties.