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On Our Minds is the name of KERA's mental health news initiative. The station began focusing on the issue in 2013, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Coverage is funded in part by the Donna Wilhelm Family Fund and Cigna.

Self-Care Is Part Of Storm Recovery Too. Here's A List Of Mental Health Resources For Texans

Child running down snowy road with boogie board and dog.
Eric Gay
/
AP
Children play with a sled as snow begins to accumulate, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in San Antonio.

This winter storm has forced Texans to deal with everything from hunger, power and water outages and put vulnerable people at risk for hypothermia.

The effects aren’t just limited to their homes though. The trauma from a storm of this magnitude — which led to a lack of basic necessities for days — has mental health repercussions as well.

Organizations like the National Association in Mental Illness (NAMI) recommends that you put yourself first in times like this.

“It’s just like when you’re on the airplane. Put your mask on first or else you’re not going to be as able to help everybody else around you," NAMI North Texas Executive Director Athena Trentin said. "Mental health is one of the pieces people forget about in relation to their overall health.”

A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that on average, 40.1% of adults in Texas report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders. About 21% of those respondents said they have unmet needs for counseling or help but had not received it in the last four weeks.

Greg Hansch is the statewide executive director for NAMI Texas. He advises people to reach out to local organizations for help, like community mental health and crisis centers.

“It might be through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, that services might be accessed. In some cases it might be through 911,” said Hansch.

You can find local resources on mental health assistance in the following list organized by major metro areas.

National & Statewide Helplines & Websites:

Dial 9-1-1 during mental health or substance use emergencies, especially when your safety or the safety of others is at immediate risk.

North Texas:

Houston:

Austin:

San Antonio:

More resources and assistance can be found on NAMI Texas.

Got a tip? Email Haya Panjwani at hpanjwani@kera.org.

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