State Human Services launches support helpline

From staff reports

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has launched a statewide support and referral helpline staffed by caseworkers who will be available 24/7 to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other coronavirus-related emotions.

Callers to the hotline will be referred to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs.

“Pennsylvanians will overcome this crisis together by following the guidance of public-health professionals who advise social-distancing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but physical isolation does not mean social isolation,” Human Services secretary Teresa Miller said. “We must support people where they are during this time of crisis.”

The toll-free helpline, available at (855) 284-2494, is operational around the clock.

To create and staff the support line, the state has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR), an experienced regional crisis and call center provider based in Butler County and licensed to provide crisis services.

CCR staff are trained to be accessible, culturally competent, and skilled at assisting individuals with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, co-occurring disorders and other special needs.

Staff use the principles of trauma-informed care to listen, assess needs, triage calls, and provide appropriate referral to community resources to children, teens, adults and special populations.

“We recognize the significant strain this crisis is putting on families across Pennsylvania, and we want you to know that you do not have to struggle alone. If you need help, reach out,” said Miller.

Many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:

– National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255

– Lnea Nacional de Prevencin del Suicidio: (888) 628-9454

– Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741

– Safe2Say: (844) 723-2729 or

– Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990

– Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): (800) 662-4357