Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced the launch of a statewide Support & Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers who will be available 24/7 to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs.
“Pennsylvanians will overcome this crisis together by following the guidance of public-health professionals who advise social-distancing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but physical isolation does not mean social isolation,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We must support people where they are during this time of crisis.”
The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is officially operational today, Thursday, April 2. The number to call is 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
To create and staff the support line, DHS has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR), an experienced regional crisis and call center provider based in Butler County and licensed to provide crisis services.
CCR staff are trained to be accessible, culturally competent, and skilled at assisting individuals with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, co-occurring disorders and other special needs. Staff use the principles of trauma-informed care to listen, assess needs, triage calls, and provide appropriate referral to community resources to children, teens, adults and special populations.
CCR will collaborate with individuals, families, police, emergency medical teams, hospitals, schools, and human service providers on the local level to provide quality care to their community members.
“We recognize the significant strain this crisis is putting on families across Pennsylvania, and we want you to know that you do not have to struggle alone. If you need help, reach out,” said Secretary Miller. “The compassionate caseworkers staffing the Support & Referral Helpline will be there to answer your call and be a line of support during this difficult time.”
Many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Línea Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
- Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
- Safe2Say: 1-844-723-2729 or www.safe2saypa.org
- Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
- Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357
Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
Additional resources for citizens and DHS providers related to COVID-19 is available here.
A media call will begin at 1:00 p.m. Members of the media who are interested may contact Brandon Cwalina at firstname.lastname@example.org for call-in information.
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James, email@example.com
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