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New app offers free behavior health support to deal with stress surrounding COVID-19

A new computer and smartphone app called TakeMyHand.co provides Riverside County residents who are experiencing the stress and challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic free access to live support via text chat from peer support specialists and counselors. The site is confidential and does not require a login, username, or password.

“This is an example of using leading-edge technology to bring behavioral health care to people where and when they need it,” said Dr. Matthew Chang, director of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health, which developed the app. “The 24/7 availability means that people can get support without a delay or need to travel outside their home.”

This online resource uses a chat format to connect individuals with specialists who are trained to interact with people expressing concerns about difficult feelings and behaviors. TakeMyHand.co provides an alternative to telephone and video calls for those who prefer text as their primary form of communication. The site also provides a comprehensive list of county wellness and recovery resources.

“I appreciate that Behavioral Health is always there for our community, and especially now,” said Riverside County Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “These are excellent services that provide support and hope.”

Although the new app is not a substitute for the care of a licensed clinical professional, many people may find it to be a useful outlet to help calm their anxiety and regain their center.

Individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis may call 2-1-1 or the behavioral health CARES line at 800-706-7500. A 24/7 free, confidential crisis or suicide intervention service can be reached at 951-686-4357.

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