CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - Clackamas County has launched a program that will help community members struggling with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Clackamas County Mental Health Center is not open to walk-ins right now, its staff is available to help 24/7 by calling 503-655-8585.

Someone with the mental health center is there, ready to provide support to anyone feeling worried or stressed. And - Monday through Friday - that number also connects people to "Go Teams," which are made of six staff members all trained in psychological first aid.

"Psychological first aid is not therapy or case management. It's also not crisis mental health services. What it is - the provider is going to connect with an individual by really listening and showing empathy and care," said Dr. Jeffrey Anderson.

Dr. Anderson is a supervisor with the county's Behavioral Health Division.

He told FOX 12 the "Go Teams" go into the community and meet with the person who is struggling and listen to their story.

"Another thing that psychological first aid, the providers do it try to provide coping skills. So how to deal with anxiety, how to deal with sleep trouble, and also how to normalize some of the stresses we feel as a result of this pandemic," Dr. Anderson said.

Dr. Anderson says they hope by providing this type of help, they can prevent further trauma.

"Go Teams" do wear personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Dr. Anderson says they officially started on Monday and the county is committed to having them available for the next several months.

If you or someone you now needs to get a hold of them, call 503-655-8585 or visit www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/mental-health.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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