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Phone line aims to prevent crises before they occur

Phone lines down
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 18:09:49-04

Louisianans on the verge of a crisis can always find a listening ear through the new Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line. By calling 1-833-333-1132, individuals can find real-time support to avoid, prevent or intercept a crisis from occurring.

The Office of Behavioral Health is implementing this pre-crisis phone line as one of its strategies to support the emotional health of Louisiana communities in coping with the stressors of COVID-19, according to a release. This line offers recovery support facilitated by trained specialists to assist healthcare professionals, persons in recovery from substance use, mental health, serious mental illness or co-occurring disorders.

Trained specialists and clinicians are on call 24/7/365 in multiple languages to assist people through a caring qualified support provider when someone needs help before a crisis occurs. Calls received by specialists may range from someone having a tough day, to a person who has self-identified the warning signs of mental or emotional changes, to relapse prevention and support.

"Social distancing has been one of the most effective mitigation measures in helping Louisiana slow the spread of the coronavirus, but that physical distance brings with it its own stressors," said Karen Stubbs, assistant secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health. "When you aren't able to hug or be close with your loved ones, it takes a toll on your mental health. Some individuals may think about filling that void with other means of self comfort such as gambling or substance use. That's when we went you to call this hotline - before the crisis occurs."

However, Stubbs said, those with no prior history of substance use or mental illness also can access this line to receive these services any day, any time.

"It's important for us to be good neighbors and watch out for one another. If you or someone you know is headed toward a crisis, please call 1-833-333-1132. Someone is always on the other end of the line, ready to listen and to direct you to the appropriate behavioral health provider if needed," said Kenneth Saucier, program manager for the hotline.

The Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line is funded through the Behavioral Health Emergency COVID-19 Grant.

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