5/26/21-- Earlier today the Town of Stonington and United Way of Connecticut 211 announced a new campaign aimed at building better public awareness of the resources available for support and referral through 211 – the state’s primary phone-based health and human services referral system. The video of the full annoucment can be viewed via the link below.
911 and 211 both offer important assistance to members of the community 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year-round. The campaign will include education and outreach to promote enhanced awareness among Stonington residents of which to call, when for the services and assistance they need. A generous donation from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut will help fund the campaign.
“We are so grateful for the collaboration of partners that have come together to create this pilot campaign. In Stonington we want play a proactive role in removing the stigma that is all too often linked with mental health issues and ensure residents are able to connect with the best resources available. We hope the results from this pilot can help lead the way for further action across the State” said First Selectman Danielle Chesebrough, Town of Stonington.
“The Which/When? campaign provides an important opportunity to increase public awareness of 211 as a resource for mental health and for other supports and to enhance understanding among residents of when to call which service for help. We are grateful to Maria Miranda and Miranda Creative for their donation of time and talent to develop the campaign materials.” said Lisa Tepper Bates, President & CEO, United Way of Connecticut, who also serves as a member of the Stonington Police Commission.
“Local police are often called to respond to situations that involve mental health but are not necessarily issues involving questions of law enforcement, which can increase risks for both the individual in distress and the officers,” said Chief Darren Stewart, Chief of Police, Town of Stonington and President of the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association. “Knowing which number to dial – 211 or 911 -- when help is needed can assist our residents in getting the best and most appropriate help as quickly as possible, while conserving law enforcement resources for the situations in which they are needed.”
“If you are looking for help, information, or access to mental health resources, 211 Connecticut Contact Specialists are available 24/7,” said Tanya Barrett, Senior Vice President of 211 Health and Human Services at United Way of Connecticut. “Our 211 Contact Center is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology for crisis intervention. The crisis team responds to calls from individuals in emotional distress or expressing suicidal ideations by providing telephone crisis intervention and connecting them to supports and services to address their needs and help them stabilize.”
“The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is proud to partner with United Way of Connecticut 211 and the Town of Stonington in a campaign that will communicate broadly the role of 211 services, said Maryam Elahi, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. “This effort will facilitate direct and expedient access to much needed services to those in need. We hope that it will also avert crisis through expert wellness management. This partnership will set a model for others to follow.”
This exciting partnership will include an effort to encourage anyone struggling with anxiety, depression, or facing mental health issues to engage pro-actively with existing support resources -- including through 211. The project seeks to expand awareness of resources available through 211 for Connecticut residents, including support to find crisis assistance for mental health care, emergency food, rental support, and other essential resources.
211 provides the state’s point of entry and triage for Youth Mobile Crisis Intervention Services in partnership with CT Department of Children and Families (DCF). 211 also operates Action Line in partnership with the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Both services provide telephone support, information and referrals to community resources, warm transfer to Mobile Crisis Teams, and when necessary, direct connection to 911 for youth or adults in crisis.
In 2020, 33% (122,507) of all calls handled by 211 Contact Specialists were from callers in crisis. During 91% of adult crisis calls the crisis diminished while a 211 contacts specialist was on the phone with the caller in crisis and only 561 (0.15%) callers required an active rescue or medical emergency response.