Friday, June 5, 2020 - 02:55 pm Categories:

The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division was recently awarded a Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the behavioral health of North Dakotans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this grant, the division is launching Project Renew, a partnership with Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, to provide free and anonymous brief support services to individuals throughout the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress for many North Dakotans,” said Pamela Sagness, director of the Behavioral Health Division. “Behavioral health is vital to overall wellness. Brief supportive services from a trained crisis counselor can help individuals identify and understand emotions and connect to resources during this uncertain time.”

The Project Renew hotline can be reached at 701-223-1510 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday. Individuals can also send an email to

Project Renew services include supporting community members in understanding physical and emotional reactions to COVID-19, developing and improving coping strategies, reviewing options, and connecting with other individuals and agencies that may be of assistance.

In addition to offering community support services, the Project Renew initiative will provide outreach to those impacted by COVID-19 and includes a website at that serves as a comprehensive resource for information on coping and well-being, wellness tips, and who to call in a crisis situation.

The division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety, access to services and quality services. It also establishes quality assurance standards for the licensure of substance use disorder program services and facilities and provides policy leadership in partnership with public and private entities. For more information, visit