The American Red Cross across the United States has developed a program, free of charge, in response to COVID-19 to support individuals and families who have lost family members to death as a result of COVID-19. Materials are provided in both English and Spanish. Translators are available for other languages as well.
The program, known as Virtual Family Assistance Center Integrated Condolence Care Program will link crisis counselors with families to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as targeted short-term case management to assist with navigating through the challenging processes they might be faced with as a result of the death. This might include challenges with moving the family member’s body through the hospital, nursing home, medical examiner and funeral home systems in this time when those systems may be overwhelmed and their processes may be different than they normally are. They may also include linkage to legal resources for estate, custody, immigration or other issues related to the death.
The following link is to an online intake form that can be submitted by a family member, a friend who thinks someone needs help, or an agency on behalf of the family.
Red Cross COVID-19 Family Support
For those without access to the needed online technology, the phone number will link the caller to an intake person who will assist with the initial steps for getting assistance.
Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
This 24/7 national hotline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any disaster or COVID-19.
Línea de ayuda de Angustia por Desastres: 800-985-5990 o envíe TalkWithUs al 66746.
Esta línea directa nacional que atiende las 24 horas, los 7 días de la semana brinda orientación inmediata ante crisis para personas que experimentan angustia relacionada con cualquier desastre o con el COVID-19.
“Be Strong, Be Strong, Together We WILL Be Strong”
“Chazak, Chazak, v’Nitchazek”
Chaplain Stephen B. Roberts, MBA, BCC
Founder & President
ChaplainDL – Chaplain Distance Learning
Editor: Professional Spiritual and Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook SkyLight Paths Publishing
Co-Editor: Disaster Spiritual Care 2nd Edition: Practical Clergy Responses to Community, Regional and National Tragedy SkyLight Paths Publishing