Request for FEMA funds for community-based mental health resources

The impact of COVID-19 has affected so many facets of our lives. Not only has it threatened Minnesotan’s physical health, job security, and financial stability – it has also taken a toll on the mental health of our communities. Last month, Governor Walz sent a letter to President Trump to request a major disaster declaration so that emergency protective measures (including federal funding) could be put in place to combat the impact of COVID-19. The funding would be used to mitigate the impact of the virus in many facets, community-based mental health support being one of them. We are expected to hear back next week on whether or not it’s been approved and what resources would be made available through FEMA.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would implement the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP). The CCP offers community-based outreach and educational services to help communities recover from the psychological effects of a disaster such as COVID-19. The interventions would assist survivors in managing their stress, unpacking their disaster-related trauma, developing healthy coping mechanisms, understanding their recovery options, and much more.

While we wait for the decision of the President, below are current available resources for those struggling with their mental health:

  • Minnesota Warmline: Are you an adult needing support? Talk to a specialist who has firsthand experience living with a mental health condition.
    • Call 651-288-0400 or text “Support” to 85511

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The 24/7 lifeline provides support when in distress, has prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and resources for professionals.
    • Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: Offers crisis counseling and support if you or a family member is experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster.
    • Call: 1-800-985-5990

  • Peer Support Connection Warmlines: Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive. Open 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.
    • Call or text 844-739-6369

More information regarding the CCP resources that would be offered and the implementation of them can be found here.