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Counseling Service HOOTS Stands Ready For Students During Coronavirus Closures

Brian Bull

With Oregon’s schools shut down at least through March, a phone counseling service for young students is making sure its staff remains available.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many restrictions and shutdowns, which can disrupt people’s lives. With school closed, kids may feel anxiety, isolation, or depression.  Some may have to deal more routinely with difficult home situations.

“A lot of the support that students normally receive is at school, during school hours," says Ashley Barnhill-Hubbard, program coordinator for Helping Out Our Teens in Schools (HOOTS).  This White Bird Clinic program is being kept active from 9am - 4pm on weekdays, just as if school was still in session.

Credit White Bird Clinic
HOOTS team members.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be an acute crisis that’s going on for folks to access the mental health support line," says Barnhill-Hubbard.

"I’m sure there will probably continue to be problems between peers and relationships, all things that we love talking to teenagers about.”

Two HOOTS phone lines are staffed for specific districts.

(541)246-2342 is for the 4J High Schools, Eugene Charter Schools, and Bethel Schools.

(541)246-2332 is for the Springfield and Oak Ridge high schools.

The CAHOOTSmobile crisis service remains active outside HOOTS hours.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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