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State offers help for those with stress and anxiety caused by pandemic

New hotline offers free professional counseling
Therapist offers advice as more people show signs of anxiety, depression
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 16:13:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The pandemic is leaving many Hoosiers with increased stress and anxiety and needing a place to turn to.

Now, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has come up with a new service that lets people connect confidentially with a trained counselor.

The "Be Well Crisis Helpline" is free and available around-the-lock through Indiana 211. It was established by the FSSA's Division of Mental Health and Addiction in response to a rise in stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

According to the FSSA, COVID-19 has caused a rise in mental health-related issues across Indiana and the entire country, including new stresses brought on by social isolation and the lack of traditional support systems such as family, friends, schools, religious and other community organizations.

For some, anxiety regarding financial stress, grief and loss over bereavement and the loss of one’s “normal routine,” along with all of the unknowns regarding COVID-19, is overwhelming.

“With the Be Well Crisis Helpline, our intent is to provide easy and free access to counselors who can listen and help by simply calling 2-1-1,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA secretary. “As Hoosiers continue to cope with the ‘new normal’ of life during a pandemic, with massive disruptions in their everyday lives, and with emotions ranging from bored to terrified, it was imperative to build a helpline that could literally be a lifeline for many.”

Indiana 211 is a free service that connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from thousands of health and human service resources across the state.