Free Mental Health Counseling at Your Fingertips!

Free Mental Health Counseling at Your Fingertips!

For Reno, Nevada residents aged 13 and older, free mental health counseling is now available. The Reno City Council approved $1.3 million in CARES Act funds to be used to provide all Reno residents with one live video, HIPAA-compliant counseling session per person, per month. Normally this service is worth $316 through the Talkspace app.

What Is Talkspace?

The Talkspace app works by users first answering a few questions during a brief assessment. Users then select a therapist of their choosing from a recommendation list and continue to start therapy. In the agreement for the city of Reno, Talkspace has agreed to contribute $200,000 in funds for marketing its service in Reno.

Will Talkspace Help?

In a recent COVID-19 update, the emotional and psychological impact on Nevadans was discussed by Nevada State Mental Health Authority Stephanie Woodard, PhD, Caleb Cage, the state’s COVID-19 response director, and Julia Peek, deputy administrator of Community Health Services (This Is Reno, 2020). Dr. Woodard cited the ongoing isolation from peers and challenges of online learning as reasons for “Chronic stress.” The ways that people engage socially, at work, school, and recreation have all been impacted negatively by safety issues surrounding the pandemic. Other stressors include “Loss of jobs, loved ones and housing, food insecurity, financial instability, social isolation, concerns over COVID-19 exposure, managing work from home and schooling children” (This Is Reno, 2020).

Other Programs That Serve Nevada’s Mental Health Needs

To help those suffering from depression, addiction, and anxiety as a result of the pandemic, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) established the Nevada Resilience Project. Through the program Nevadans can connect with Resilience Ambassadors to provide support and resources by telephone, text, video chat, or face to face. The program was started through a Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Grant awarded to the Division of Public and Behavioral Health. The grant, from the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs through May 2021. Other resources available on the Nevada Resilience Project page of the Nevada 211 website include:

Nevada DHHS also provides specific resources for children with emotional and/or behavioral issues through the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The programs include:

More information on COVID-19 and how to cope with its effects on substance use and mental health disorders can be found in these previous Catalyst blog posts:

For behavioral health training in Nevada check out the following upcoming trainings through CASAT Training:

Don’t forget the Online and Self-Paced courses offered by CASAT Training!

The CASAT OnDemand Resources & Downloads page contains many resources and links for additional coping strategies, national training sites, and information about all of the topics related to the field of behavioral health.

What are your thoughts about the new programs such as Talkspace, the Nevada Resilience Project, and  the Nevada Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Team, that help make services available? Please share your thought in the comments below!


ThisIsReno. (2020, December 04). Talkspace contract approved unanimously by City Council. Retrieved December 16, 2020, from

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