The Department of Human Services (DHS) today marked Mental Health Awareness Month with a reminder that it is OK to not feel OK and that help is available. Mental Health Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness and understanding and to fight stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders.
“We know that the COVID-19 emergency is a difficult time for everyone, and many are struggling with feelings of fear and anxiety. It is okay to feel this way,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “This crisis may not always allow people to tune in to their personal needs, but in order to have the ability and emotional capacity to take care of others, you must take care of yourself.”
Gov. Tom Wolf launched “Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters” earlier this year as an initiative to remove barriers to mental health care and reduce stigma. The governor has reminded Pennsylvanians that there are myriad resources for people to turn for mental health needs.
DHS announced a statewide Support and Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers who will be available 24/7 to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is available at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.