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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – New Statewide #MentalHealth ‘Warmline’ Helps Those Struggling

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Call to connect to peer specialists to talk, work through #anxiety, #stress, #loneliness

Author: Alana Holland

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new #mentalhealth warmline across the state. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched the line to help Michiganders struggling with #anxiety, loss, #loneliness and more during the #COVID-19 pandemic .

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

A warmline is similar to a hotline but is used for non-crisis and non-emergency calls.

The number is 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753).

On the other end of the call, is a certified peer support specialists. These are a trained workforce, made up of people who have been through similar #mentalhealth challenges, and are now trained to help others cope and find help.

“People are really struggling with many things associated with the stay at home, stay safe order,” said Pam Werner, the manager for peer services, “And they’re not able to connect with their social support systems.”

The warmline is not a #suicide hotline, nor a crisis line, but rather it’s staffed from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Additional goals of the warmline include reaching under-served, rural areas, and preventing struggling individuals from putting additional pressure on first responders.

“They have direct experience to what other callers are talking about,” said Werner, “they also have wellness plans and wellness tools and with their lived experience, they’re able to connect with callers on the phone, share they are a peer and have gone through many of the things the caller has gone though.”

Werner said the first evening the warmline launched, they received 250 calls.

If you are struggling with #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255.

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