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Mental health hotline lets callers talk with those enduring similar struggles


By Destinee Patterson

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    RALEIGH, North Carolina (WRAL) — North Carolinians struggling with their mental health will soon have another resource for support at their fingertips.

A new phone line is launching statewide on Tuesday – and it will connect people in recovery with those still struggling.

Many may be familiar with 988, a number people experiencing a mental health crisis can dial. Starting Tuesday, North Carolinians will have another option – one that offers the opportunity to talk to people who may have gone through similar situations.

Holly Doggett is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). A large part of her story is about her own mental health condition.

“I needed help,” said Doggett. “I needed somebody to show me that there was hope.”

It inspired her to get involved in finding solutions – and helping people in similar situations. She calls herself a ‘peer’ – someone who can relate. That is the basis of a new hotline – called the Statewide Peer Warmline.

“We struggled with finding the right resources, the right treatment,” Doggett said.

Kelly Crosbie, the director of mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services with the state, said just having someone to talk to can be important for those who are struggling.

“It’s being able to connect to somebody else that has mental health or substance use challenges,” Crosbie said. “Someone who may have, you know, found their own recovery journey, they figured out how to navigate the system, which can be confusing for people and concerning.”

It’ll work in tandem with the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline. The state reports a contact volume of more than 97,000 calls. More than 45% of their calls come from repeat callers.

“A lot of people call just to have someone to talk to,” said Crosbie.

“A lot of times, what we need is someone to just listen to us,” said Doggett. “To have somebody pick up the phone, who you know have gone through some of the same things you have, who are going to come from that non-judgmental, caring place…that’s so meaningful.”

It’s important to note that this new hotline will work alongside the current 988 crisis lifeline. Both will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to raise awareness for the new support line will take place in Charlotte Tuesday.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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