Indiana launches Be Well Crisis Helpline to support Hoosiers during COVID-19 pandemic and recovery

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SOURCE: News release from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration today announced the launch of the Be Well Crisis Helpline, a confidential resource available through Indiana 211 that will allow Hoosiers to call and speak with a trained counselor 24/7. The free Be Well Crisis Helpline was established by FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction in direct response to the elevated levels of stress and anxiety Hoosiers are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has caused a rise in mental health-related issues across Indiana and the entire country, including new stresses brought on by social isolation and the lack of traditional support systems such as family, friends, schools, religious and other community organizations. For many Hoosiers, anxiety regarding financial stress, grief and loss over bereavement and the loss of one’s “normal routine,” along with all of the unknowns regarding COVID-19, is overwhelming.

“With the Be Well Crisis Helpline, our intent is to provide easy and free access to counselors who can listen and help by simply calling 2-1-1,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA secretary. “As Hoosiers continue to cope with the ‘new normal’ of life during a pandemic, with massive disruptions in their everyday lives, and with emotions ranging from bored to terrified, it was imperative to build a helpline that could literally be a lifeline for many.”

Indiana 211 is a free service that connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from thousands of health and human service resources across the state — quickly, easily and confidentially. Earlier this month, Indiana 211 officially became part of FSSA, helping enable specialized programs such as the Be Well Crisis Helpline as needed.

“By calling 2-1-1 (and selecting 3), callers will connect with an experienced and compassionate counselor specially trained to help with issues triggered or worsened by COVID-19,” said Jay Chaudhary, J.D., DMHA director. “The trained counselors will be able to listen, provide support and promote personal resiliency.”

The Be Well Crisis Helpline is funded by a Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Indiana the program becomes part of the state’s new Be Well Indiana initiative. Additional information about the mental health resources available to Hoosiers is available at BeWellIndiana.org.