July 30, 2020
By: Bill Conger
Besides the physical battles COVID-19 has caused across the world, the pandemic is also leaving a trail of emotional scars. As a result, there have been increases in depression, suicide, substance abuse, overdoses, family conflict and child abuse and other mental health issues. Thanks to the Tennessee Recovery Project grant program, help is available.
“The purpose of the COVID-19 grant is to provide individuals who may be suffering from emotional or social issues as a result of either fear of disease, isolation or loss of job, or experiencing any kind of issues as a result of the pandemic and need someone to talk to,” says Program Manager Donna Vize, LSMW.
A hotline is manned live seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. for anyone in the Upper Cumberland counties needing assistance. The number to call is 833-954-2424. The Hotline provides connection to resources, short-term supportive counseling, long-term counseling referrals, and coping advice.
In addition, virtual groups will gather on the Facebook page, “Tennessee Recovery Project: Emotional Recovery from COVID-19.”
“The benefit of participating in a group or a live chat is one to eliminate that feeling of isolation to see if there are other people who are experiencing the same thing and two, to gain insight and support from other people who are experiencing the same kind of issues that you may be experiencing,” said Vize.
Here are some of the signs a person is experiencing stress: difficulty falling or staying asleep, having nightmares, low energy or difficult concentrating, irritability, outbursts of anger, crying and feeling sad, excessive drinking or drug use, feeling nervous or “on edge,” constant worrying, incapacitating guilt and self-doubt, sudden painful emotions, feeling apathetic or numb, withdrawing from others, and developing a fear of leaving home.
Again, the hotline for the Tennessee Recovery Project is 833-954-2424.