“The threat of COVID-19 and so many changes to our normal routines can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety,” said Karen Stubbs, assistant secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health, said in a press release. “These are normal feelings and it’s important for each individual who is having a hard time with these emotions to reach out for help.”

A national hotline dedicated to crisis counseling can also provide help: 1-800-985-5990. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline operates 24/7, 365-day-a-year to provide crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This qualifies.

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Housing, utilities, legal assistance and food

This information comes primarily from the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Housing evictions have been suspended until April 24, under an order signed by chief Judge of Civil District Court Christopher J. Bruno. The city has also worked with utilities providers to ensure workers affected by the closures will not lose essential services.

Entergy: Entergy will halt customer disconnections if nonpayment is the result of the coronavirus. Customers can call 800-368-3749 or visit entergy-neworleans.com for more information.

Sewerage & Water Board: The S&WB suspended water service shut-offs on March 12, and will adhere to this policy change for the duration of the mayor’s Declared Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cox Communications: Cox will not terminate service to residences or small businesses that are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus. For those affected, Cox will waive late fees as well.

Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Sprint and T-Mobile: WiFi service providers have publicly committed to the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” to ensure customers aren’t cut off from communications services during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes no shutoffs, no late fees, and making Wi-Fi hotspots available to anyone who needs them.

AT&T is also offering internet access for qualifying limited-income households at $10 a month through its Access from AT&T program. In addition, all AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited data. For more information, see here.

Legal assistance: If you need help with a landlord-tenant issue or other legal matter, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services provides free, civil legal aid to low-income people. Go to slls.org or call 504-529-1000 for more information.

Clients and individuals in need of legal assistance or self-help can also reach The Pro Bono Project at 504-581-4043. Email for clients is intake@probono-no.org and for self-represented litigants,  selfhelp@probono-no.org.

Food distribution: NOLA Tree Project will be distributing free hot meals from Second Harvest. The meals are available from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday from the NOLA Tree Project Headquarters, 1509 Filmore Ave.

Citywide child nutrition programming will be available starting March 23, but some charter school leaders have been able to start feeding programs sooner. See here for information.

Residents can also call 211 and ask about emergency food assistance to receive more information, find out where a food pantry may be located in their community and sign up for services.