There’s no doubt going to be a lot of anxiety this year for North Carolina’s teachers and other school personnel.

Whether their school system is holding classes in school buildings or remotely via computers it’s going to be a tough year. On Monday, Aug.17, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that it’s opening up the existing 24/7 Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) to the state’s teachers, school personnel and their families.

A Monday press release from the state explained the rationale for the change.

“With schools opening in-person and remotely across the state under new health and safety procedures. NCDHHS and the NC Psychological Foundation can provide these personnel with mental health and resilience supports through Hope4Healers. Hope4Healers is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. When teachers, school personnel or family members call the helpline, they will speak to someone who is trained to listen and offer support. They then will be contacted within about a day by a licensed mental health professional for a free, confidential, short-term follow-up by phone or video chat.”

Earlier in 2020, working with the NC Psychological Foundation, NCDHHS launched the Hope4Healers Helpline, which for months has been providing mental health and resilience counseling for first responders, health care and childcare professionals and their families.

Everyone knows caregivers have to get care as well from time to time – and that seems to be the state’s plan in this case.

NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Kody Kinsley said that school workers were right in the thick of the coronavirus battle.

“Our children across the state will be best served by educators and school staff who are taking care of their own mental health needs,” Kinsley said. “Our educators and school teams are working in an unprecedented situation on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. We want to make sure they have access to the mental health and resilience supports they may need to feel like their best selves in the classroom – whether they are teaching in-person or remotely.”