2+1+1 on 2/11 for 211!
Q: What is HeartLine?
A: HeartLine is a 501c3 non-profit and a United Way partner agency that has been serving Oklahoma for 40 years as of 2011. We answer the 2-1-1 lines for 40 counties in western Oklahoma, and we answer both the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) and the Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-522-4700 for the entire State of Oklahoma. We answer these phone lines 24/7, 365 days a year for Oklahomans in need.
Q: What are the common reasons people call 211, and are there any trends in what callers are seeking?
A: Callers use 2-1-1 for any type of health or human service need. People call 9-1-1 when they are need of medical attention or emergency help. 2-1-1 is like that, except in the case of an emergency. We give information and referrals to people that are finding themselves in a position of not knowing where to get help finding a particular social service, such as a food shelter, mobile meals, or even an alcohol anonymous group. 2-1-1 is not like 4-1-1, we do not have any business listings in our data-base; just social service organizations in a 40 county area that provide service accessible to any and every Oklahoman. 39% of our 167,000 callers in 2010 were looking for basic needs such as: rental assistance, utilities, food/food pantries, etc. There has been an increase in substance abuse service calls, as well as mental health referrals.
Q: Why is HeartLine special to you personally?
A: Carrie, I started off as a volunteer on the phone lines over 10 years ago, so I have a deep passion for the services that HeartLine provides each and every day. We have great Board of Directors and community partners that are finding out about what our call specialists and volunteers do day-in and day-out to help those in need. I was hired on staff in Jan. of 2008 and as CEO in Nov. of 2009. In particular I am interested in helping suicidal people at any age find the help and the hope they need to make it through another day, week, month, etc. Every person needs to know they deserve a second chance, and needs help to see past what has them down in a suicidal moment.
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