NewsHealth / July 20, 2020

Indiana Launches Helpline For Support During Virus Pandemic

Indiana Launches Helpline For Support During Virus Pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents can call and speak confidentially with a trained counselor at any hour free of charge under an initiative announced Monday.

The Be Well Crisis Helpline is available through Indiana 211, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said.

The helpline was established by FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction in direct response to the elevated levels of stress and anxiety Hoosiers are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said.

COVID-19 has caused a rise in mental health-related issues across Indiana and the entire country, including new stresses brought on by social isolation and the lack of traditional support systems such as family, friends, schools and other community organizations, the agency said.

For many Hoosiers, anxiety regarding financial stress, grief and loss over bereavement and the loss of normal routines along with the unknowns regarding COVID-19, is "overwhelming," it said.

“Our intent is to provide easy and free access to counselors who can listen and help by simply calling 2-1-1,” FSSA Secretary Jennifer Sullivan said in a statement. “As Hoosiers continue to cope with the ‘new normal’ of life during a pandemic, with massive disruptions in their everyday lives, and with emotions ranging from bored to terrified, it was imperative to build a helpline that could literally be a lifeline for many.”

Indiana 211 is a free service that connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from thousands of health and human service resources across the state. Earlier this month, Indiana 211 became part of FSSA, enabling specialized programs such as the Be Well Crisis Helpline.

Additional information about the mental health resources available to Hoosiers is available at BeWellIndiana.org.

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