October 1, 2020

St. Joseph Medical Center Champions City of Houston’s COVID-19 Mental Health Initiative

HOUSTON, Oct. 1, 2020 – St. Joseph Medical Center announced earlier this week its support of the City of Houston’s newest program to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Officially launching today, “Let’s Beat COVID-19: Health Education and Support Services,” (HESS) will include a mental health helpline to help individuals cope with the mental and emotional stressors associated with COVID-19.

“Our Center for Behavioral Health has been committed to treating the mental health of Houstonians for over 50 years, and even more so as we continue to grapple with the ripple effects of the coronavirus,” said Kim Bassett, RN, President  of St. Joseph Medical Center. “Illness, economic instability, social isolation, and overall changes in routine can cause a myriad of mental health issues that need and should be addressed.”

The helpline will be available to all Houston area residents, but it has a particular focus on parents and guardians of school-age children, childcare workers, teachers, and City of Houston staff on the frontlines of the pandemic and individuals living in high positivity zip codes.

“It is now more important than ever to identify and provide critical resources to help Houstonians cope during these unusual and stressful times,” Bassett. “We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and the Houston Health Department for making mental wellness a priority in our community, especially now.”

Funded by the CARES Act, the helpline will be open seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. starting today through at least December 24. Individuals can access the helpline by calling 713-999-9942 to reach a mental health professional who will provide appropriate intervention and follow-up. The program features professionally licensed, certified staff, virtual parent engagement informational sessions, virtual parent connect talk sessions, and K-12 toolkits to support parents and guardians.

For more information about HESS, visit