Nonprofits Launch FREE Psychological Well being Help Line for Folks with Disabilities Throughout Pandemic

Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, people with developmental disorders were disproportionately affected by mental health problems in the past compared to people without disabilities. According to the Center for Disease Control17.4 million adults with disabilities often suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, about 4.6 times as often as adults without disabilities. Today, that number is growing rapidly for this population due to pandemic-related effects such as isolation and lack of community engagement and social interaction, while the availability of personal mental health services has not kept pace with demand.

In response, The Arc of California, in partnership with Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare, launched Project Connect, a FREE 24-hour support line for people with disabilities, their caregivers, family members and the support team.

“When we went into the pandemic, we were aware that people with disabilities would be exposed to higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Coupled with a well-documented shortage of mental health services providers, we felt the need to develop an open line of communication for our community as a safety net during this challenging time, ”said Jordan Lindsey, Executive Director. The Arch of California. “With the holidays approaching quickly and the country still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope Project Connect makes mental health support more accessible to those in need.”

Project Connect’s telehealth support line is staffed by graduate students from the Stony Brook School of Social Welfare and supervised by licensed social workers. The graduate students offer a wide range of support services, including counseling, wellness checks, depression screening, and referrals to charitable services.

“We saw that this opportunity to work with The Arc serves a dual purpose. This gives us the opportunity to support the needs of people with disabilities and their families in difficult times and to provide our PhD students with hands-on consulting experience in practice, ”he said Warren K. Graham, assistant dean of field education and clinical assistant professor, Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. “Our team of social workers are well prepared to offer support, guidance, and recommendations to anyone who calls.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Stony Brook University and The Arc have worked together to develop solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing this population, starting with preparing caregivers for those with special needs for hospitalization should they be diagnosed with COVID- 19th

“We hope this free teletherapy line will remind people that they are not alone and that those who feel overwhelmed or struggling will get a glimmer of hope that we can get through and thrive together,” said Lindsey.

For assistance for you or someone with a disability, please call the Project Connect toll-free line at 1-888-847-3209 or learn more at

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The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lives. The Arc ensures that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their parents, siblings, family members, and other affected members of the public have meaningful opportunities to inform and determine the direction of advocacy for the organization, including setting policies and positions on key issues Subjects.


The School of Social Welfare prepares students for professional practice in the field of social welfare, from high school to doctorate. We offer an upper-class Bachelor’s program that leads to a Bachelor of Science with a focus on social work (BSW) and prepares students for the professional practice of social work. Our graduate school, which leads to the Master of Social Work (MSW), prepares students for the advanced practice of social work and can be designed to include a specialization area or a dual degree in social work and law (MSW / JD). The Council on Social Work Education accredits both the school’s BSW and MSW programs, and the New York State Education Department recognizes the MSW program as meeting the academic requirements for students to qualify for the LMSW and LCSW – Register license exams. The school’s doctoral program is focused on policy research and allows students to pursue this focus in their area of ​​interest in the area of ​​social welfare.

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