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Indiana offers free 211 counseling helpline

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There is a new and free way for Hoosiers to find help dealing with the mental fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction launched a “Be Well Crises Helpline” to connect residents of Indiana to trained crisis counselors.

People interested in using the “Be Well Crises Helpline” can simply call 211 and hit option 3 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of increased stress and anxiety for everyone, including Hoosiers. So, financial stresses, lack of normal routines that we are used to, concerns about the future, uncertainties… there are so many different sources of stress. So, we recognize that people may need a little bit of extra help to get through the day,” said Kelsi Linville with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. “We have implemented the Be Well Crises Helpline. It is a 24/7 confidential free helpline that anyone within the state of Indiana can call,.”

The program is funded by FEMA and launched earlier this week. Already a lot of people have been utilizing the free service. Counselors also suggest people go to the Be Well Indiana website to find more Indiana benefits and videos.

“These crisis counselors can help with things like helping people understand their stress reactions and make sense of what it is they are experiencing. It can be someone just to listen. Sometimes we just need to talk,” said Linville.

The counselors can also recommend resources, relaxation strategies and even refer people to a mental health provider when warranted. The FEMA grant money for this program lasts for 9 months. This type of program is typically reserved for natural disaster recovery, however, counselors said mentally recovering from this pandemic is just as important.

“I hope that people recognize that they are resilient. We have what it takes to get through this. We just may need some help recognizing it. So I hope that through this program people tap into their own strengths, communities tap into their strengths and we make it through this together,” said Linville.

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