A new mental health crisis hotline is now available to Montanans struggling with the ongoing emotional impacts of the global pandemic.
The Montana Crisis Recovery Hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant program is open to all Montanans but specifically targeted at Native Americans, students, health care workers and residents of communities hit hardest by COVID-19.
"People are social creatures and we're all feeling very, very tired of this pandemic. And yet it goes on," says Zoe Barnard.
Barnard leads the state health department’s Addictive and Mental Disorders Division.
Hotline counselors are available to listen to, and if need be, help connect callers to local mental health providers.
Montanans in need of free and confidential crisis counseling can call 877-503-0833 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“I think it’s really important to normalize that the feelings people are going through right now are to be expected during this time," Barnard says. "It is a sign of vulnerability and strength to call the hotline. By making yourself stronger you will also be helping to strengthen the social networks that you have.”
The project is paid for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, uses no state funding, and will be available for at least the next nine months.
Again, the hotline number is 877-503-0833 and open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.