North Forty News
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on everyone. In June, SummitStone Health Partners rolled out a new program called ‘Colorado Spirit.’ This program provides a free emotional-support resource to the community for individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Colorado Spirit has a warm-line that is free to call and available 24/7 every day of the year. Colorado Spirit counselors are trained staff who understand what you are going through and can help talk you through your challenging time. They are a combination of mental health paraprofessionals and professionals who support community members in functioning and coping with disaster disruptions through crisis counseling services.
“Sometimes we don’t want to burden our friends and family by talking about our problems. This warm line is an opportunity to vent to someone who is here to listen, without judgment, and to offer solutions from an outsider’s perspective,” shares Colorado Spirit Program Manager Alison Hartman.
Calls are confidential and anonymous. You can learn more about COVID-19 and reactions to disasters or get tips on managing stress. You can talk about your feelings of hopelessness and worry, anxiety, depression, or cabin fever. You will receive information about community resources that can offer additional support for the help you need.
Colorado Spirit also offers help to businesses. They provide short, tailored presentations on topics related to the pandemic. Topics include recognizing common reactions to disasters, managing disaster-related stress, building coping skills for the recovery process, and identifying and meeting children’s needs. Call (970) 494-9941 or e-mail email@example.com to schedule a presentation.
The Colorado Spirit Social hour is a free weekly Zoom meeting covering various topics shared in a group setting. Meetings offer tips and activities related to COVID-19 and are held on Mondays at 10 am and Thursday at 2 pm. Topics range from tips for specific populations, like parents or older adults, to information on grief and loss, navigating the holiday season, self-care, and substance abuse. These programs will continue through Spring, with details on topics and Zoom link available at https://www.summitstonehealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/social-hour-handout.pdf.
Funding for the Colorado Spirit Program comes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with oversight by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and close collaboration between SummitStone Health Partners and the Health District of Northern Larimer County. The FEMA grant, awarded in June 2020, allowed for an expansion of the Health District’s ‘Connections’ program, which had previously been offering emotional support and resources to anyone impacted by COVID-19. The Colorado Spirit grant allows the Connections line to operate 24/7 in response to increased needs during the pandemic.
For more than 60 years, SummitStone Health Partners has transformed lives through recovery, renewal, and respect by providing unsurpassed behavioral health prevention, intervention, and treatment services in Larimer County. SummitStone offers more than 50 services dedicated to treating mental health and addiction disorders for people of all ages. They are the largest behavioral health provider of Medicaid in Larimer County. All donations are invested in services to clients, 22% of whom are children. SummitStone Health Partners is a 501(c)(3) organization.
The winter months and holiday season can be challenging in average years, and the pandemic has only made things worse. Isolation, loss, and hopelessness plague many. There is a light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic, but we aren’t through yet. Reach out if you are struggling.
“Talking about what is going on helps normalize what people are going through. It helps to know that someone else gets it too,” Alison affirms.
Find out more about the Colorado Spirit Program at summitstonehealth.org/colospirit or call 970-221-5551. This service is a ‘warm line’ because it is for non-crisis support. Below is the contact information for those in crisis.
¿HABLA ESPAÑOL? No Estas solo. Estamos aquí para ti. Llame 970-221-5551. La línea de soporte de Conexiones (Connections) es gratis, llámenos en cualquier momento que necesite ayuda, apoyo emocional o recursos para COVID-19.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis, call 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255. SummitStone Crisis Services can help manage your situation, provide immediate support and consultation, and connect you to resources. This service is free, confidential, 24/7 support. You can also call SummitStone directly at (970) 494-4200 (option #4) anytime day or night, or get in-person help at the Crisis Support Center, 1217 Riverside Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524 from 8 am to midnight. Mobile Crisis Services are also available 24/7 by calling SummitStone.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, including prevention and crisis resources. Call or Text 1-800-273-8255. En Español – Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454. For Deaf/Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889 or Chat with Lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Help is only a phone call away.