Launched in July to support the mental health needs of Hoosiers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Be Well Crisis Helpline had answered more than 6,000 calls for help by December 2020.
“While we recognize that each of these calls is a cry for help from a Hoosier experiencing feelings of distress and anxiety, likely aggravated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also comforted to know that, through the Be Well Crisis Helpline, they are connecting with someone who can listen, assess their needs, and help,” said Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
To reach a counselor, anyone in Indiana can simply call 211, enter their ZIP code, and follow the prompts to reach the Be Well Crisis Helpline.
According to data collected by the counselors, 46% of the callers had a pre-existing trauma or substance use or mental health problem. Following their conversations, the counselors referred 29% percent of the callers to mental health treatment, 24% for additional community-based resources such as food, clothing, housing or utility assistance, and another 16% for additional crisis counseling.
In about 1% of the cases, following telephone counseling, Be Well Crisis Helpline counselors have determined the situation is critical and have called 911 to get the callers the immediate help they need.
The top distress reactions on the calls include isolation or withdrawal (34%), issues with sleep (34%), anxiety or fearfulness (32%) and difficulty concentrating (27%).
The Be Well Crisis Helpline is funded by a Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More information can be found at BeWellIndiana.org.
Indiana 211 connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from statewide health and human service resources. Indiana 211 became part of FSSA in early 2020.