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As the nation observes Mental Health Awareness Month throughout the month of May, NJ 2-1-1 continues to service thousands of calls statewide from residents seeking assistance for various mental health concerns.

Over 2,350 referrals were made from callers looking for assistance with substance abuse and mental health issues over the past year. Calls to NJ 2-1-1 were referred for specific mental health issues like anger management, domestic violence, mental health evaluation and treatment, and individual, family and counseling services.

While the type of calls varies by county statewide, the number one statewide need is for lonely isolated callers to connect with someone who will listen, accounting for nearly 39% of all mental health assistance calls to NJ 2-1-1. Some of these callers speak to NJ 2-1-1 on a daily basis and others are new to NJ 2-1-1.

The other major mental health concerns that NJ 2-1-1 assists residents with include: mental health information; general counseling/therapy services; other mental health counseling; severe emotional distress, mental illness and those seeking access to mental health support groups.

The NJ 2-1-1 website provides visitors with full access to the 2-1-1 resource database of over 14,000 programs and services and is organized to allow users to ‘self-serve’ by providing comprehensive information like application links, application agency locations, eligibility guidelines and critical dates, among others. Special sections of the site are devoted to such topics as Emergency Preparedness, Family Services, Home Energy Assistance, Utility Assistance, and Resources for the Unemployed among others.

NJ 2-1-1 also operates the Addictions Hotline, a public/private partnership with the United Ways of NJ and the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) that assists New Jersey residents and their families by providing free, personal assistance to anyone trying to navigate the health and human services system, government assistance programs, and local community resources to support individuals and families with substance abuse. Resources for addiction services and all other needs are also accessible from every page of the 2-1-1 website

There are two ways to reach the 2-1-1 Addictions Hotline

• Direct dial of 2-1-1 from any phone in the state of New Jersey (follow the auto attendant prompt #22, or ask to be transferred to the Addictions Hotline)
• Call the current active Hotline number: 800-238-2333 which will connect you with the Addictions Hotline call specialist.

The national 2-1-1 network makes available a free, user-friendly phone number that serves 90% of America’s population, and connects some 16 million people a year to critical resources, information and services. In New Jersey close to 230,000 people called 2-1-1 for help last year. Over 212,000 visited the website in search of resources and education.

By Independent Press
on May 20, 2015 at 11:05 PM