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Arkansas DHS offers free COVID-19 crisis counseling services

The Stay Positive Arkansas Promoting Positive Emotions Program (PPE) is a free confidential crisis counseling program for anyone in Arkansas.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Project PPE is in place to help those suffering from mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety, or burnout related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize that coping with stress in a healthy way makes individuals and communities stronger, more resilient, and better able to face crises like COVID-19,” says PPE Project Manager Dr. Kathy Pillow Price.

The program is administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services in coordination with 14 local providers that are scattered throughout the state. It is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Project PPE encourages people to talk through their experiences to address stress and trauma early on and teaches them how to learn coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. The program provides individual crisis counseling, education, outreach, and referrals at no cost across the state.

RELATED: Arkansas turns its focus on mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

All services are completely free to use and there are no age requirements.

“Project PPE and our partners are happy to work with children under the age of 18 as long as there is parental or guardian consent to provide the services,” says Price.

To take advantage of these services, call the crisis support line at 833-993-2382. You can also visit staypositivearkansas.com for resources.

“Even if you are not wanting to talk to a support person, we have some great printable handouts on our website that you might find useful,” says Price.

Appointments can take place over the phone, through telehealth or in person.

Visit staypositivearkansas.com to learn more.

Credit: PPE