Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Human Services (DHS) today marked Mental Health Awareness Month with a reminder that it is okay to not feel okay and that help is available. Mental Health Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness and understanding and to fight stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders.
“We know that the COVID-19 emergency is a difficult time for everyone, and many are struggling with feelings of fear and anxiety. It is okay to feel this way,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “This crisis may not always allow people to tune in to their personal needs, but in order to have the ability and emotional capacity to take care of others, you must take care of yourself.”
The Wolf Administration has been committed to ensuring access to mental health care. Governor Tom Wolf launched “Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters” earlier this year as an initiative to remove barriers to mental health care and reduce stigma. The governor has reminded Pennsylvanians that there are myriad resources for people to turn for mental health needs.
DHS announced 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. The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is available at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
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
- Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-888-772-7227 or https://pcar.org/help-in-pa
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233 or www.PCADV.org
- United Way of Pennsylvania: Text your zip code to 898-211 or visit http://www.uwp.org/211gethelp
Available online resources:
“I encourage all Pennsylvanians to take time during this Mental Health Awareness Month to pay attention to your own mental health,” said Sec. Miller. “Be sure to make note of changes in sleeping patterns, the amount of time spent on focusing on the crisis, or your use of alcohol. Find ways to connect to people who are supportive and know that physical isolation does not mean social isolation. And most importantly, if you find that you may need help, reach out. You are not alone.”
Visit pa.gov for a “Responding to COVID-19” guide or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
Guidance to DHS providers related to COVID-19 is available here.
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