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In The Media

COVID-19 in Texas: Omicron may exacerbate pandemic mental health concerns
12/24/2021 - KPRC

For mental health support related to COVID-19, call the state’s 24/7 toll-free support line at 833-986-1919 or text “COVID” to 832-479-2135. 

COVID-19 in Texas: Omicron may exacerbate pandemic mental health concerns
12/24/2021 - Texas Tribune

The support line has seen a 20% increase in calls since early December, as a new COVID-19 variant began to emerge just in time for the holiday season. Battle said a quarter of callers last week dialed in to talk about holidays, Christmas, vaccines or boosters, according to her analysis. 


Houston offering low-level offenders a second chance through jail diversion center
12/21/2021 - KXXV

The Harris County Sheriff's Department is offering some low-level offenders in Houston a second chance. "No matter what time law enforcement encounters someone, they can be diverted. They can drop them off here," said Wayne Young. 

DA Ogg Honored for Leading Criminal Justice Reform in Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health
12/15/2021 - Forward Times

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg receives the Lone Star Award from the Association. After the award reception, Ogg answered a few questions about her philosophy when it comes to reforming how the criminal justice system addresses mental health.

Embedding Crisis Response in Harris County’s 911 Dispatch Center
12/14/2021 - Crisis Talk

Between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm, seven days a week, behavioral health call takers sit alongside 911 call takers at the Houston Office of Emergency Management, ready to meet the mental health crisis needs of Harris County’s 4.1 million people.

Zero Suicide: A Personal Story – The Sophie Fund
12/10/2021 - The Sophie Fund

Wykisha McKinney lost her brother Johnny to suicide in 2004 and subsequently struggled with suicidal thoughts herself as she coped with a beloved sibling’s death. She shared her story in “A Zero Suicide Story,” a presentation at the Suicide Prevention Center of New York’s “AIM for Zero: Suicide Care is Healthcare” symposium.

Improving Response to Mental Health Incidents
12/8/2021 - Police Magazine

Following several years of research into the vast numbers of calls for service Houston PD was responding to that were coded as mental health-related, the agency’s Mental Health Division developed the Crisis Call Diversion (CCD), a multi-agency collaboration between the centralized 911 call center—the Houston Emergency Center (HEC)—and the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD.

Why COVID poses a greater risk to people with a mental health diagnosis
11/17/2021 - NPR's All Things Considered

The CDC recently added people with mental illness to the list of those who should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Our CMO Dr. Luming Li discusses the impact of COVID on individuals with mental illness and why it is critical that we provide vaccine information to individuals with mental illness and prioritize their needs.

Parent to Parent: How to see if your child could be struggling following Astroworld tragedy
11/10/2021 - Fox 26 Houston

The tragedy at AstroWorld is affecting more people than you may think. Counseling services are being offered, and it’s a tool that parents may really want to consider for their child whether or not they went to the concert.

Crisis line available as Astroworld attendees process traumatic experience
11/9/2021 - KHOU-11

Calls are rising at the Harris Center for Mental Health and counselors are ready to respond.

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