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DBH Operations, Information, and Resources During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic can bring increased stress especially for those living with mental health and substance use disorders. The Department of Behavioral Health provides services remotely or in person in accordance with DC Health and CDC guidelines.

Staying connected virtually with your family and loved ones, practicing self-care like deep breathing and moderating your media intake are all helpful tips to maintain your mental health. Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve your mental functioning. The DC Department of Recreation and Parks at home fitness resources. Coping with stress makes us stronger and supports a thriving community.

Maintain Your Mental Health

Mental health is essential to our overall health and well-being. Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological and social well-being and affects how we think, feel and act. Our mental health can change based on the circumstances facing us. If you, or someone you care about, feel overwhelmed or experience persistent feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety due to COVID-19, we are here to help. A mental health clinician is available around the clock to talk with you about coping strategies or just to listen. Call the Mental Health Hotline at 1-888-7WE-HELP(1-888-793-4357). Below are ways to cope with stress and maintain your mental health. If you need additional support, call us, If you (or someone you know) feel like you want to harm yourself or others, immediately call 911.

If you already are facing mental health challenges, continue your treatment including any prescribed medication. Be aware of your triggers and any worsening symptoms, maintain your self-care activities, and, if needed, update your wellness plan. You also can now participate in therapy sessions with your mental healthcare provider virtually and by telephone.

Maintaining Your Mental Health – English
Maintaining Your Mental Health - Amharic (አማርኛ)
Maintaining Your Mental Health - Chinese (中文)
Maintaining Your Mental Health - French (Français)
Maintaining Your Mental Health - Korean (한국어)
Maintaining Your Mental Health - Spanish (Español)
Maintaining Your Mental Health - Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt

Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19

Grieving the loss of a loved one during the fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. It may be difficult to make decisions about how to safely grieve and honor your loved one. You also may be unclear about where to get the resources and emotional support that you need. The Mental Health Hotline is here for individuals grieving the loss of a loved one related to COVID-19. You can call us for 

  • grief counseling
  • information about other resources
  • support for children and youth, and
  • connection to ongoing mental health support.

Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – English
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – Amharic (አማርኛ)
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – Chinese (中文)
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – French (Français)
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – Korean (한국어)
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 – Spanish (Español)
Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During COVID-19 Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)

DBH Programs and Services

  • Urgent Care Adult Clinic. Same day/urgent care services including assessment, counseling, and psychiatric evaluation. 35 K Street NE, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am -3 pm. (202) 442-4202
  • Urgent Care Children/Youth Clinic. Same day/urgent care services including psychiatric assessment and support for children/youth 18 years old or younger. 821 Howard Road SE, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm. (202) 698-1838.
  • Assessment and Referral Center (ARC). Enroll in substance use disorder services. 75 P Street NE, Monday- Friday. 7 am - 6 pm. For same day service, please arrive by 3:30 pm.
  • 24/7 Access Helpline (1-888-793-4357). Enroll in mental health services.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Call 988 anytime. Free and confidential support for you or someone you know in suicidal crisis, a mental-health or substance use related crisis.

  • Children/Youth Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service. 24/7 mobile emergency psychiatric service in the home or community for children/youth ages 6-17 or ages 18 to 21 in the care and custody of DC Child and Family Services Agency. (202) 481-1440.

  • Community Response Team. 24/7 mobile emergency crisis support for adults in psychiatric crisis in the home or community for counseling and transportation to emergency treatment, if needed. (202) 673-6495.

  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). 24/7 adult emergency psychiatric care facility for crisis stabilization and treatment.

  • Saint Elizabeths Hospital. Inpatient psychiatric hospital.

Guidance for DBH Certified Providers

The Department of Behavioral Health is working with its certified behavioral health providers to maintain access to quality behavioral health services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Medicaid Expands In-Home Telemedicine Services for Medicaid Beneficiaries in Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 Provider Guidance
Guidance for Access and Care at DHS COVID-19 Related Sites 
Guidance to Operators of Community-based Residences
Phase Two Guidance for Supportive Living and Community Residence Facilities


Need Help Accessing a DBH Service?

The DBH Ombudsman Office can help. DC residents can reach the Ombudsman Office at (844) 698-2924 or via email at [email protected]. Call the Compliance Line at 1-800-345-5564 for anonymous calls.

Additional Useful Links

School Based Behavioral Health Community of Practice Resources 
SAMHSA Coronavirus Resources and Information  
Public Benefits Supplemental Resource Guide