SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – South Carolina health care officials want to provide accessible care to the Latinx community with a new mental health and addiction support hotline.
Tu Apoyo, which means your support in English, will provide mental health assistance for free over the phone in Spanish, thanks to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.
Gia Quiñones, the supervisor of the hotline, says the program hopes to address the increased rates of anxiety and depression that have developed within the Latinx community since the pandemic started.
“The pandemic has shown the disparities, but it has also shown how we come together as a community to assist and support one another,” said Quiñones. “The Tu Apoyo line is available […] for the Latinx community to hold their hand through this difficult time with COVID-19 and with other concerns they may have.”
Mental health and addiction issues have been an undiscussed topic within many minority families. Quiñones says she hopes this hotline will allow for more open discussions about mental health in the community.
“The dynamic of many Latinx families is extreme closeness,” she said. “The fear of bringing shame to their family or making their family feel like they caused a mental health illness may prevent individuals from seeking mental health treatment.”
Through greater accessibility, she hopes the community can begin to heal and have more open discussions about the importance of mental health issues.
Operators will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday for anyone who calls. Callers can remain anonymous and the number is toll-free in South Carolina.
The number is 833-TU-APOYO (882-7696).