KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A COVID-19 emotional support line is now available for all Tennessee educators.
The Tennessee Department of Education made the announcement Tuesday afternoon that the phone line providing free mental health support to front line workers amid the pandemic is being extended to the classroom.
“It’s great to know that educators can call into this,” said Knox County Education Association president Tanya Coats.
A release from the state says the emotional support line provides free and confidential support from specially trained volunteer mental health professionals to callers experiencing increased anxiety and stress due to the national pandemic.
“I really believe it could be a lifesaving move for some educators,” Coats said. “Teachers have taken on the role of being the external health care. They have to take temperatures every day, and praying that if you’re reaching your hand out or guiding a kid through a temperature doorway, that they’re not coming with COVID.”
Coats says she is hopeful her fellow educators who may be struggling will take advantage of the newly expanded COVID-19 phone line.
“Make sure that you’re ok and staying safe, and that includes mentally staying safe as well,” she said.
The COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is available to call at 888-642-7886 from 7 a.m.- 11 p.m. ET daily.