Emotional Support During Fire Season and a Pandemic


Oregon Health Authority provides emotional support resources for Oregonians struggling with the threat of COVID-19 and wildfire

On September 12, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported six COVID-19 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 505.

“Today’s 500th death marks another sad milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen. “These are our family members, our friends, neighbors and colleagues. We extend our deepest condolences to every Oregonian who has suffered a loss to COVID-19.”

This is an incredibly challenging time for many reasons. As many of us continue to deal with the devastating effects of wildfires, as well as the COVID-19 public health crisis, we wanted to remind you of some resources. If you need support, please know that help is available for you.

  • The Oregon Behavioral Health Support Line is a free and confidential resource for all Oregonians who are looking for emotional support. Call 1-800-923-HELP (4357). You do not need to be in mental health crisis to call this line. If you need or want help beyond what the line can provide, you will be connected to those services. This can include community-based services such as housing, food assistance or clinical services. Certified interpreters are also available for those who speak a language other than English. Through this number, you can also connect with Lines for Life (linesforlife.org), a suicide prevention organization with specific resources for youth, military personnel and their families, and those affected by substance abuse problems.
  • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a trained crisis counselor.
  • Call 211 or visit 211info.org to connect with health and social service organizations. These include child care resources, utility assistance, food resources, housing and shelter information and more.

OHA also has contacts for crisis services by county on its website. To stay informed about wildfires and learn about resources across the state, go to wildfire.oregon.gov.

About Author

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is the state agency at the forefront of lowering and containing costs, improving quality and increasing access to health care in order to improve the lifelong health of Oregonians. OHA includes most of the state's health care programs, including Public Health and the Oregon Health Plan.

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