LANSING, MICH. Getting crisis mental health support is now as simple as sending a text to a new service being launched today by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as part of its Stay Home, Stay Well initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By texting the keyword RESTORE to 741741, Michigan residents can have a confidential text conversation with a crisis counselor.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic and related financial hardships, we know that, now more than ever, Michigan residents are coping with stress and anxiety that can result in a mental health crisis,” said Allen Jansen, MDHHS senior deputy director of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration. “By texting RESTORE to 741741, Crisis Text Line will help people Stay Home and Stay Well – along with other expanded mental health crisis services the state is providing.”
Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to texts from Michigan residents who are facing a mental health crisis — everything from anxiety and financial issues to suicide and domestic violence. While the text line is starting during the pandemic, MDHHS intends to continue offering the service in the future.
The text line is provided by Crisis Text Line, an organization established in 2013 that has provided this type of support on an international level with the recognition that with new technologies, texting is a fast and easy way to connect and may be the preferred way for some people who need immediate support.
As part of Michigan’s partnership with Crisis Text Line, people who text RESTORE to 741741 will receive referrals to local mental health resources and connections. Crisis texts are confidential, but this partnership also will provide the state with broad trends to understand the need for any additional services.
If anyone in emotional distress feels a chat via text would be useful to resolve the emotions of the moment, the text line’s crisis counselors can help people shift from a heated moment to a calmer state.
MDHHS has expanded mental health resources for people in Michigan as its residents face greater stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other parts of the Stay Home, Stay Well efforts include:
- The Headspace website, which provides free, evidence-based guided meditations. It includes at-home workouts that guide people through mindful exercise (a type of meditation in which participants focus on being intensely aware of what they are sensing and feeling in the moment), sleep assistance, and children’s content to help address rising stress and anxiety. The resource is free and available to the public. Go to www.HeadSpace.com/MI.
- The National Suicide Prevention hotline. People considering suicide are urged by MDHHS to contact the or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.
- The Disaster Distress Helpline for anyone in distress pertaining to the COVID-19 crisis. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-985-5990.
- The statewide “Warmline” for Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions connects people with certified peer support specialists who have lived experiences of behavioral health issues, trauma or personal crises, and are trained to support and empower the callers. The warmline operates seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753).
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