LA Dept Of Health Free Resources To Help With COVID-19 Stress

Oct 16, 2020

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

LOUISIANA COVID-19 UPDATE - The latest numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health,  show just under 174,000 Covid-19 cases,  with more than 161,000 presumed recoveries and 5,507 Covid-19 related deaths.  Louisiana is in it’s 8th month of the Coronavirus Pandemic and if that weren’t enough—the state is still recovering from severe storms, and on top of that—there’s economic pressures with disruptions, businesses have had to restrict operations, there’s been closures,  job lay-offs and upcoming election worries too.   Everyone is likely feeling a little anxious.  During Governor John Bel Edwards press update yesterday Louisiana Department of Health’s Dr. Joseph Kanter explained these feelings  are not only likely, they’re normal.                 

"I think that people need to know that it's okay to feel stressed and under the gun," Kanter said. "Not only is it okay, it's entirely natural and expected and in fact if you didn't feel any of that that would probably abnormal."

Dr, Joseph Kanter, Louisiana Department of Health
Credit Courtesy: LPB

Dr. Kanter  did  encourage people to find help in dealing with stress—he named  two free resources run by the Louisiana Department of Health —the first is a toll free helpline. 

"It's 100% free, 100% anonymous, 100% confidential," Kanter explained. "It allows you to speak with a counselor to talk through anything that you want to without any charge or any concern that your name might get out somewhere."

"We're obviously not close to the end of this, we're in the middle of it, And I think we should be honest with ourselves about that because it helps let people prepare for it and get mentally strong." Dr. Joseph Kanter, La. Dept. of Health

The "Keep Calm Helpline" number is 1-800-310-7977.  The second  resource  is  a  Text  Message Helpline.         

"And to reach that you just text "REACHOUT", all one word to  741741," Kanter explained.                       

As to dealing with Covid-19, Dr. Kanter encouraged people to continue to follow Governor Edward’s Phase 3  emergency orders as infections could still spike. 

KEEPING SAFE - Dr. Joseph Kanter, LDH recommends to follow Governor John Bel Edwards' Phase 3 Emergency Restrictions to reduce Covid-19 spread and help reduce stress.
Credit Courtesy: LDH

"We're obviously not close to the end of this, we're in the middle of it," Kanter said. "And I think we should be honest with ourselves about that because it helps let people prepare for it and get mentally strong." 

One bit of good news,  Dr. Kanter did say that there hasn’t been a large number of infections among school children and credited the efforts of school employees, teachers, and administrators for taking precautions in keeping children and teachers safe.