This last week I was able to have an employee guest speak to my “COVID-19 Response” course at UVU.
She is an employee for the State of Utah Department of Health. As she presented about the COVID-19 Chat line, found at coronavirus.utah.gov, I realized that many of my students were unaware of the different resources available for help during this difficult time.
Hopefully, I can sum a few of them up here.
For starters, if you are sick and put in quarantine in your home and are unable to work and need assistance paying your rent (not mortgage), your utility bills or even medical co-pays, please contact your local health department. There are financial resources that you may qualify for.
Another amazing resource, 211, is for anyone in need of help. The organization offers many services within their spectrum. This service is housed within United Way and they can help connect people with resources for mental health, disability-related resources, senior resources and resources for children and youth.
During COVID-19, they have also included resources for food pantries, rent and utility assistance, childcare resources, healthcare resources, and a direct link to apply for unemployment. If you are in need of anything at this time, start here by visiting 211utah.org or texting 801-898-211 with your zip code.
Utah Community Action, which can be reached by phone at 801-359-2444, is another rental assistance program for households which may be under financial hardships due to COVID-19. Applications are required and can be accessed at rentrelief.utah.gov.
The Home Energy Assistance Target Program is also available for residents who need help paying gas and electric bills. Generally, this program is offered between November and April, however, a crisis program is offered year-round. Program administrators can be reached by phone at 801-229-3855.
The Mountainland Weatherization Assistance Program is another resource program that helps low-income individuals and families reduce their overall energy costs. The program is available at 801-229-3850 and may be able to help increase the comfort and safety of low income residents in their own homes.
Community Action Services and Food Bank (801-373-8200) and Tabitha’s Way (Spanish Fork: 801-709-8573, American Fork: 801-692-1881) are food banks located in Utah County that supply food for families in need.
Community Action Services and Food Bank can be reached by phone at 801-373-8200, and Tabitha’s Way has two locations: Spanish Fork — which can be reached at 801-709-8573 — and American Fork — which is available at 801-692-1881.
If you are in immediate crisis and need to be able to talk to someone, there are many resources available.
Crisis Line of Utah County, which can be reached at 801-691-5433, is a 24-hour confidential hotline. Another option, UNI Crisis Line, is also available 24 hours, and is a crisis line staffed by mental health professionals. UNI Crisis Line can be accessed at 801-587-3000.
Residence can text “START” to 741-741 to access the Crisis Text Line, a service that offers free and confidential support with trained crisis counselors. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — available at 1-800-273-8255 — is a free, 24-hour confidential suicide presentation hotline available to anyone in emotional distress or who may be suicidal.
COVID-19 has been tough. Tough for everyone. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected in one way or another.
It’s important to know that you are not alone and that there are resources out there that can help. We are all hopeful that this will pass shortly, but we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us that it will. If you are in need of help, please utilize the resources above.
We are all in this together. Best of luck out there.