Free emotional support counseling now available through Michigan’s COVID-19 hotline

Residents can speak with ‘Michigan Stay Well’ counselors for support during the coronavirus pandemic


Michigan residents can receive free, confidential emotional support counseling over the phone amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Individuals can call the COVID-19 hotline (888-535-6136) to speak with a Michigan Stay Well counselor for free ("option 8″). The hotline is available all day and night.

The counselors are not licensed professionals but have been trained on how to provide emotional support to residents of “federally declared disaster areas,” officials said.

“Emerging or lingering anxiety, distress, irritability and loss of hope are important feelings to recognize in ourselves and others, and it can help to talk to someone,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, psychiatrist and medical director for behavioral health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). “If it’s helpful, the counselors can also provide callers with referrals to local mental health agencies and substance use disorder support services.”

Michigan has declared a state of emergency in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

May 16, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 50,504; Death toll now at 4,880 with 28,234 recoveries reported

The counseling service is implemented by the MDHHS Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities Administration in partnership with the Michigan State Police.

The above hotline is also available for general COVID-19 questions between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

More Stay Well resources can be found on the Michigan government website here.

MORE: Mental health resource guide for people impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.