AUSTIN, Texas — Texas psychologists are picking up on pro bono services as COVID-19 increases demand for mental health care. The Texas Psychologists Association started the TPA Pro Bono Project: COVID-19.
The TPA said it's taking advantage of Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order to expand access to telehealth and telemedicine. The project offers up to two hours of free services, and the TPA hopes this will relieve the emotional strain some people are experiencing during this tough time.
These services are offered to people who are insured and uninsured.
“COVID-19 is placing an enormous amount of emotional, social and psychological strain on people all across our state. Now, more than ever, access to mental health care is vital,” said Megan Mooney, Ph.D., president of the Texas Psychological Association in a press release. “Texas psychologists stand ready to help.”
TPA said it is recruiting and organizing its membership of licensed psychologists to support the mental health care needs of Texans impacted by COVID-19. The telehealth or telephone delivery of mental health services helps to meet the needs of Texans while obeying the social distancing guidelines.
"It's really important that we, for resilience again – it's having a healthy body, leads to a healthy mind – so making sure that we're finding time to eat right, we're finding time to exercise," said Dr. Ron Palomares-Fernandez, TPA member and Texas Women's University associate professor.
Texas Health and Human Services also launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line.
TPA members interested in providing pro bono services and under- or uninsured Texans in need of mental health services can visit texaspsyc.org to learn more about the TPA Pro Bono Project: COVID-19.
TPA said if providers want to volunteer for the TPA Pro Bono Project: COVID-19, they have to be a registered member of TPA and in good standing with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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