Community Healthcore has begun a free program to help East Texans and their families recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program is funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant through the state of Texas.

“It’s a crisis counseling-type program for people who have had some difficulty managing their stress related to maybe anxieties about getting the virus or having had the virus, having lost work, experiencing financial difficulties because of it,” said Kim Durham, intake/aftercare program manager at Community Healthcore.

Community Healthcore serves clients and works with local governments from the Red River south to Lufkin, and from Paris, Canton and Crockett east to the Louisiana state line.

The state applied for the grant when COVID-19 was declared a national disaster, Durham said.

“It’s not unlike programs that have happened when we have tornadoes and FEMA comes in,” she said. “The biggest one that was what most people remember is when Hurricane Harvey happened in Houston. FEMA also granted a CCP program down there to go door to door, knocking on people’s doors that were affected by the hurricane, asking how they could help. The tricky thing with this one is it’s not as easy as that. COVID is kind of silent and it’s kind of ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. So we’re trying to get outreach to the community, let people know we’re here for them.”

The program offers short-term counseling. Durham said they will do four to five sessions over the phone, and if somebody needs more than that, they will be referred on to a counselor who can continue helping them.

“We do short-term interventions that involve counseling, just crisis counseling and assisting disaster survivors, understanding their current situation and reactions, help them mitigate their stress,” Durham said. “But we also can connect them with various community resources for if they’re lacking things, like if they’ve lost their job and they’re lacking income and they’re having a hard time with their bills.”

Anyone who needs help recovering from the impact of COVID-19 may call Community Healthcore at (903) 399-5202 to be connected with a crisis counselor.

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