INDIANAPOLIS — The Be Well Crisis Helpline was launched out of the pandemic, giving Hoosiers around the clock access to a trained therapist. In one year since the phone line opened, the professionals have answered 17,000 calls. The helpline’s number is 211.
Now, David Berman, Vice President of Harm Reduction and Crisis Stabilization at Mental Health America of Indiana, announced the crisis helpline will become more robust beginning at the end of August.
“More case management, more outreach, more education, more follow up,” Berman said. “Caring contacts where we can have touchpoints with individuals that are waiting for resources or don’t even necessarily need community-based resources much less in-patient.”
Berman said originally people called with concerns about COVID19. Now, it’s calls from Hoosiers with anxiety about issues like returning to some normalcy and remaining worry over the virus.
“The information out there with the new Delta strain and other variants of COVID and I think we’re all starting to feel some of that anxiety,” Berman said.
Kimble Richardson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor with Community Health Network, said his team and their patients appreciate all the mental health support they can get. He said this week, CHN got to 4500 requests for outpatient services per month.
“The challenge is to find enough counselors, mental health professionals to offer that,” Richardson said. “I mean, we can get the job done because we take care of our Hoosier brothers and sisters, but it is a challenge.”
The Be Well Crisis Helpline, with support from federal grants, will continue until at least March 2023.