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Be Well Crisis Helpline provides mental health counseling to 25,000 callers, free service will continue into 2023

Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration today announced that its Be Well Crisis Helpline has surpassed 25,000 calls, a milestone in its ongoing efforts to provide Hoosiers with free, confidential mental health counseling and resources.

The support line is available through Indiana 211 and enables Indiana residents to speak with trained, compassionate counselors 24/7. Approximately 59% of callers have received a referral for additional mental health or substance use services or requested additional crisis counseling. FSSA also announced that federal funding will allow the agency to operate the Be Well Crisis Helpline through at least March of 2023.

“FSSA is proud of the important and continuing role our crisis counselors have played to connect with Hoosiers and provide them with the resources they need to support their mental health,” said Dan Rusyniak, M.D., FSSA secretary. “We remain committed to providing free, confidential and easy access to this resource for Hoosiers in any time of need.”

FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction initially launched the Be Well Crisis Helpline in July 2020 in response to the increased stress, anxiety and isolation Hoosiers were experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the helpline’s inception, counselors have invested more than 5,823 hours helping Hoosiers manage their mental health. Individuals who call the crisis helpline seek support for several distress reactions including anxiety or fearfulness, issues with sleep, isolation, intrusive thoughts, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, fatigue and sadness.

There continues to be a growing need for the Be Well Crisis Helpline as the number of calls received reached an all-time high of 2,228 in October 2021. Counselors have reported that not only is the call volume increasing, so is the critical nature of the calls. The most prevalent issues Hoosiers are experiencing recently include depression, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, and loneliness.

“As Hoosiers continue to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other stressors brought on by everyday life, it’s clear that resources such as the Be Well Crisis Helpline are still needed to support the overall well-being of individuals statewide,” said Kelsi Linville, DMHA’s director of crisis services.

Indiana residents can speak with a trained mental health counselor by dialing 2-1-1 or the toll-free number, 866-211-9966, entering their ZIP code and selecting the option for the Be Well Crisis Helpline. In addition, Be Well Indiana’s website contains supplemental resources including blog posts and videos offering tips for maintaining mental health as well as self-screening tools. For more information, please visit BeWellIndiana.org.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration