The Piatt County Mental Health Center is one of 62 agencies in the state taking part in the ‘Call 4 Calm’ effort that was launched in conjunction with the shelter-in-place order in March.
“It’s a warm text line for individuals that are experiencing mental health distress. They can text in their contact, and one of the providers in Illinois will reach out to them. We are one of the providers there,” said Tony Kirkman, the director of the mental health center.
“If individuals in Illinois will text either the word “TALK” or “HABLAR (Spanish speaking)” to 552020 they will automatically receive a response from an on call worker asking for their name and zip code, and then a mental health professional will get back to them within 24 hours,” he added.
Kirkman also warned that, while the program is intended to provide emotional support, it is not a substitute for a crisis hotline.
“For those that are experiencing significant amount of mental distress and/or are having suicidal or homicidal ideations, we still strongly people visiting their local ER or contacting the emergency crisis lines that are in place,” he said.