HARRISBUR Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) The Pennsylvania Department of Human Resources (PADHS) wants everyone to remember that no one is alone and help is available.
PADHS Secretary Teresa Miller said Thursday that Pennsylvanians who may be struggling with anxiety or other emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak are not fighting alone.
“We know that psychological distress – whether it stems from poverty, systemic racism, or a public health crisis – can cause trauma,” Miller said. “And we know that trauma can create long-lasting, adverse effects on a person’s well-being and can extend across their entire life.”
The PADHS has opened a Support and Referral Helpline in early April to help counsel Pennsylvanians, and is reachable toll-free, 24/7 at 1-855-284-2494.
The helpline was made through a partnership with the Center for Community Resources.
"I want people to know that if you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or grief from what we’ve been facing – that’s ok,” Miller said. “Those feelings are a natural reaction to the difficult circumstances we’re facing right now. But you don’t have to face them alone, and resources are available that can help you work through these feelings.”
Since the opening of the hotline on April 1, there have been a total of 9,213 calls received, averaging 68 calls per day.
Many other sources are also available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The Spanish-language National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-888-628-9454
The Mental Health Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
The Attorney General’s Safe2Say program is also still operating 24/7 and can be reached at 1-844-723-2729 or at www.safe2saypa.org.