Warm lines offer free emotional support

in Local Roundup

California’s first Peer-Run Warm Line officially opened this week ahead of Thursday’s World Mental Health Day, providing a statewide resource for those in need of emotional support.

The non-emergency line offers free support and referrals to anyone in the state via telephone or instant messaging — a service made possible thanks to a state budget allocation of $10.8 million over three years, championed by Gov. Newsom, State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

“When addressing issues surrounding health, the conversation must also include emotional wellness. This new state resource builds on our current mental health system by serving a population that is not in crisis but still in need of support,” Ting said.

According to Mental Health America, about one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental health challenges in a given year. In peer-run or peer-to-peer engagement programs, someone who has personally gone through similar mental health challenges is providing support to callers. It’s a model that helps prevent the need for more expensive, crisis-based interventions, such as hospitalizations. In addition, the term “warm line” illustrates the step before “hotline,” which typically serves people in crisis. Warm lines aim to reach those who are not quite at that stage, but still need some emotional assistance.

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