Accessing Healthcare and Support Services

Behavioral Health

  • COVID and Caregiving

    Social isolation, diminished access to caregiver resources and support systems, stress due to the management of chronic diseases and conditions, constant efforts to prevent coronavirus exposure, and bereavement due to the loss of a loved one to COVID-19 have a negative mental health impact among caregivers during the pandemic. Support for caregivers to cope and address these factors are critical at this time. The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network will begin implementation of the virtual Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshops in November 2020. Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) is a six-week, group workshop that provides participants with tools and strategies to better handle and cope with the unique challenges caregivers typically face when caring for a loved one. Program completers have shown improvements in self-care behaviors, management of emotions, self-efficacy, and use of community resources.

  • During these unprecedented times of crisis, PAUSE RHODE ISLAND is here to help. Now is a good time to pause - to assess, to self-reflect, and if needed, to ask for help.
  • Adults seeking mental or behavioral health support should call BH Link at 414-LINK(5465). more
  • For services for children, call 855-543-5465 or visit Kids Link. Additional information for children is available at Bradley Hospital's COVID resource website. Other resources for children:
  • People with moderate to severe opioid use disorder (OUD) can access telehealth service for initiation of buprenorphine treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call Rhode Island’s Buprenorphine Hotline 401-606-5456.
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Resources More
  • Quitting Smoking and Vaping: People who use tobacco are at higher risk of more severe illness from COVID-19 because the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks the lungs.
    • The state’s FREE Rhode Island Nicotine Helpline is ready to help tobacco users quit and manage stress to stay quit. Certified tobacco treatment specialists (TTS) provide motivational interviewing counseling by phone. Adults 18+ may also receive FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) gum, patches, or lozenges mailed direct to their home. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669)
    • Teens ages 13+ can also get FREE, safe, and confidential vaping and smoking quit support by visiting www.mylifemyquit.com or texting START MY QUIT to 855-891-9989.
  • The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts team is working to provide information and resources for artists as well as working to spread the word about experiences for audiences to enjoy from home. more

Grief Support

  • FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020
  • If you have recently lost a loved one to COVID-19 and have questions about next steps (e.g., obtaining a certificate, how to handle belongings, testing), please view our Frequently Asked Questions document in which we have compiled answers and resources for Rhode Islanders. FAQs
  • The pandemic has led to a series of losses, from our sense of safety to our social connections to our financial security. Many people are reckoning with individual losses, including illness and death due to the novel coronavirus, or loss of employment as a result of economic upheaval. Grief counseling points to ways we can heal. more

Health Insurance Information

  • Medicaid: Rhode Island Medicaid will be suspending all terminations and quarterly income verifications for the duration of this emergency. Uninsured individuals who are Medicaid eligible can enroll at any time. Visit HealthSourceRI.com to enroll or call customer support or use the web chat function between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-840-4774.
  • HealthSource RI (HSRI) recently extended our New Enrollment Period (NEP) through August 15, 2021. The extended deadline gives new and current HSRI customers a chance to receive new savings created by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Most HealthSource RI customers will be eligible to receive additional financial help to lower their monthly coverage costs, making coverage through HealthSource RI more affordable than ever.  Learn more at healthsourceri.com/NEP.
  • Health plans issued in Rhode Island are now providing temporary new benefits during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. more 

Healthcare Facilities, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently granted Rhode Island the authority to issue Pandemic-EBT benefits (P-EBT) to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with one or more children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced price meals at school due to COVID-19 school closures. For households receiving SNAP benefits, the additional benefits will be added to their existing EBT cards. Households not currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive a new P-EBT card in the mail with benefits automatically added and a personal identification number (PIN) and setup instructions. more
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are now able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. For more details, visit dhs.ri.gov.
  • Since March 2020, SNAP households that weren’t already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. 
  • Free "Grab and Go" meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. more

Violence Prevention

  • People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comprehensive resource document can be found in English and Spanish.
  • The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and all of its member agencies are open, as are domestic violence shelters. Rhode Islanders seeking help can call the 24/7 confidential hotline at 1-800-494-8100. Services are provided in English and in Spanish. While courts are closed for non-essential business including evictions, they are open for all domestic violence matters. more

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Services

  • Changes to respond to COVID-19

    • All WIC sites are open and providing remote services (by phone) and mailing benefits or adding benefits to the eWIC cards for those in the Pilot sites. Find a WIC Site
    • RIDOH has submitted waivers for many regulations and food items to increase access to the program and its benefits. Vendors will be notified when substitutions are approved. RELATED VENDOR NOTICE
    • WIC is a public health program that improves birth outcomes and children’s long term health outcomes. WIC does not ask immigration status and is not a part of Public Charge.
    • more WIC info