Pandemic stress is real. Months of uncertainty, limited contact with others, and fundamental changes in how we live our daily lives takes a toll. Mental health needs are increasing as people try to cope with the many ways COVID-19 is affecting their lives.
We’ve seen calls to our 211 Maryland United Way Helpline increase across the board, but especially for those who need mental health support. A recent grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission made it possible for United Way to partner with the Pro Bono Counseling Project (PBCP) to provide a teletherapy platform to virtually serve Marylanders with counseling and other needs. The new line enables United Way to quickly direct 211 callers to PBCP’s team of licensed, volunteer therapists.
“This is an invaluable program,” said Sue Poandl, Associate Vice President, 211 Maryland United Way Helpline. “Mental health is a rising need among our callers as Maryland residents continue to cope with stress, uncertainty, and loss during these unprecedented times. Knowing that our callers now have access to a helpful, licensed therapist makes all the difference.”
United Way has also been working with the Michael Phelps Foundation and The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools on a mental health initiative for students and families in Baltimore County experiencing disruptions to their daily lives and schedules. In partnership with the foundations, United Way is creating stress kits for students in the area that promote mental wellness. The Michael Phelps Foundation is also offering lessons on how to reduce stress at home during this time.
Everyone has been affected in some way by COVID-19, especially those who were already experiencing tough times before the pandemic. Want to do your part to help us meet the cascading needs in our community? Make a donation of any size to our COVID-19 Fund—we’ll make sure your gift goes where it’s needed most.