24-Hour Disability Support Line Now Open
The Arc of California and the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare have teamed up to launch a helpline for individuals with disabilities as well as their families, care professionals, and other members of their support team. Project Connect was launched just before Thanksgiving and is staffed by graduate students at the school who are supervised by licensed social workers. The graduate students are able to offer a wide range of support services including counseling, wellness checks, depression screening, and referral to community services.
The helpline is available nationwide and is free and available anytime of day. The helpline was created to help those with developmental disabilities and the people who care for them to cope during the COVID-10 pandemic.
As the holidays approach, Project Connect hopes to make mental health support more accessible for anyone who needs assistance. Research has found that the impact of COVID-19 has been more profound on individuals with developmental disabilities than nearly anyone else, with many losing access to caregivers, support services, and schooling. Caregivers say people in the disability community are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and other hardships as a result of the pandemic.
The Arc of California’s website explains that mental health is important, and “whether you are just feeling a little down and need someone to talk to, or you feel that you need on-going support Project Connect is here for you.”
To utilize Project Connect, head to www.thearcca.org/project-connect or call the hotline at 1-(800)-847-3209.