The Salvation Army Continues Offering its Emotional and Spiritual Support Hotline
CHICAGO – Since mid-March, when the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to be seen, our society has been physically and socially isolated, and inundated with daily updates of the rising numbers of deaths and job losses. Now, we are gripped by daily demonstrations and protests calling for the end to police brutality and systemic racism, and riots with looting that cause damage to our communities. All this upheaval can be very difficult for people to process and deal with feelings. It is no surprise there is a rise in psychological distress, as noted in a story published by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In response to this anxiety, anger, helplessness and uncertainty felt by many, The Salvation Army has launched an emotional and spiritual support hotline for people who are looking to talk. The hotline was started as part of the Army’s response to COVID-19 and continues to be an important outlet for people to talk and receive words of encouragement and hope.
The hotline connects callers to pastors and other emotional care personnel who provide a listening ear – and if requested – spiritual guidance and prayer support. The hotline also helps the Army determine areas with additional needs and collect prayer requests.
“Due to the disruption to daily life caused by COVID-19, many of our neighbors are hurting. In recent days, the protests and social actions for racial justice sparked by the murder of George Floyd and other instances of violence have prompted many members of our community to feel overcome with strong emotions,” said Envoy Scott Hurula, who oversees the hotline. “It is important that these friends have someone to talk so they can find ways to cope, to care for their families, and to have better emotional and mental health outcomes.”
In addition to providing emotional and spiritual support, staff and volunteers will make referrals to 911 in cases of emergencies or other community resources to fit the individual’s needs.
“Anyone is welcome to call the hotline for support – people from every part of greater Chicagoland, from all neighborhoods, from all professions and career fields, from all races and ethnicities,” said Hurula. “We hope that people will call if they are lonely, if they have a heavy heart, if their emotions are running high and they don’t have anyone to talk to about it.”
The Salvation Army launched a similar hotline in the wake of September 11 attacks, and saw an immense response.
The phone number is 877.740.8829. Staff are available 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and speak English and Spanish. Callers are encouraged to leave a message if they call after hours.
Learn about all the ways The Salvation Army is responding to the coronavirus – as well as how you can help – at salarmychicago.org/coronavirus.
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For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.