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Who ya gonna call when you need mental health services information?

Massachusetts (and other states) would like you to know just how much information you can get by dialing the state’s line for health and human service information at 2-1-1.

The state, and the United Ways who operate it, will celebrate the resource, officially called Mass2-1-1 tomorrow, 2-11, in an annual recognition of the program which gives callers phone, online, and referral information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Similar to 9-1-1’s emergency services connection, 2-1-1 offers callers health and human service assistance, including, but not limited to, mental health resources and connections. In 2020, the line and website also provides timely information on the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s response to it.

When someone dials 2-1-1, they can be connected to human service organizations that provide food programs, housing and emergency shelter, elder care, physical and mental health services, childcare resources, drug and alcohol services, utility assistance, and victim services, Mass2-1-1 Inc. said in a released statement about tomorrow’s celebration, adding that at times, the line is also activated when needed for emergencies and disasters.

It’s a great resource to know about when you need help figuring which organization is the one that can help you.

One specific 2-1-1 resource worth noting is the statewide mental health helpline, Call2Talk, which is answered by Mass2-1-1 volunteers. These call-takers provide confidential support to people experiencing emotional distress or possible suicidal ideation, according to Mass2-1-1. Call2Talk also includes the Crisis Text Line which offers similar support to those who prefer texting to speaking to someone. Call2Talk can be reached directly at 508-532-2255, talk or text.

“Dialing 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone provides residents of Massachusetts with free, confidential, referral services and is easy to use,” Eileen Davis, vice president of Mass2-1-1, and Director of Call2Talk, said in a released statement. “Mass2-1-1 is available in all 14 counties across the state and offers translation in over 150 languages. This is a critical service every day, but more so now while the pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our daily lives.”

Interested in learning more about the help Mass2-1-1 provides? You can join the virtual celebration tomorrow at 2:11 p.m. by clicking here and using meeting ID: 972 0171 7774 and passcode: 257168. Or visit the website here.

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