Arlington, VA, USA, Feb. 16, 2021 -- Before the pandemic, in any given year, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. reported having a mental health condition. Currently mental health experts suggest the figure is 2 in 5, or even higher. To address the increased need, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is extending the hours of the NAMI HelpLine to Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., ET. Everyone is vulnerable to not only to the virus, but also the stress and uncertainty it brings. NAMI strives to give people the information and resources they need to get appropriate mental health care.
The NAMI HelpLine is a free nationwide peer support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with mental health conditions, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. Experienced, well-trained staff and volunteers help by answering questions, offering support and providing practical next steps.
In comparison to 2019, the NAMI HelpLine has experienced a 70% increase in phone calls, emails, letters and social media requests. To meet this demand, NAMI has extended the hours of HelpLine to help as many people as possible in need by phone 800-950-NAMI (6264) or email email@example.com so no one feels alone in their struggle.
"We recognize that everyone is facing additional challenges dealing with COVID-19. There's no population that is immune to this," said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. "That's why we are increasing access to the NAMI HelpLine resources. Now more than ever, we need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone. NAMI is here to help."
During our pilot period, we've helped more than 350 people, especially on the West Coast. We have also increased the number of volunteers to meet the raising demand to help people who are struggling.
"People are crying out for help navigating the uncharted waters of life in a pandemic," Gillison said. "People gripped by anxiety and depression for the first time are turning to us for support. At times, the need has seemed endless and throughout it all, the NAMI HelpLine has risen to meet the need."
Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021
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