HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Wolf Administration wants to remind Pennsylvania residents of mental health and substance use disorders resources for the holiday season.

State health officials want to remind Pennsylvanians that help is available for people and there is no shame in reaching out for help. While the holiday season is a time of joy to many, for others it can be a struggle when dealing with stress, mental health issues, substance abuse or advancing age.

“Maybe you are celebrating the holidays without a loved one or you’re still dealing with job loss, financial hardship or burn-out,” noted Sara Goulet, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday. “Or maybe you’ve been feeling depressed or anxious for quite a while and aren’t sure where to turn.”

“In normal times, the holidays can be a sensitive time — and with the added pandemic fatigue and anxieties — many of us are dealing with more than we can handle,” Goulet added. “Please know if you are going through hard times, you are not alone and no matter what you are going through, it’s okay to get help if you need an extra hand.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support, in English and Spanish, to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A localized text option is also available via the Crisis Text Line, offering free 24/7 support by texting “PA” to 741741.

Public Assistance Programs

Programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), cash assistance, Medical Assistance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and other programs can be applied by online. For more information on assistance programs available to help Pennsylvanians visit the DHS website.

Support and Referral Helpline

Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other mental health challenges can contact the Support & Referral Helpline toll-free, 24/7 at 1-855-284-2494 or for TTY, dial 724-631-5600. Helpline staff members are trained to be accessible, culturally competent, and skilled at assisting people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, co-occurring disorders, other special needs, or someone just looking for a supportive, empathetic person to listen to. Staff are trained in trauma-informed care to listen, assess needs, triage calls, and provide appropriate referral to community resources for children, teens, adults and special populations, including historically marginalized groups and longer-term behavioral health supports.

Get Help Now Hotline

Individuals seeking substance use treatment or recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline is confidential, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by trained professionals who will connect callers to resources in their community.

Naloxone

Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (i.e. prescription pain medication or heroin). When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing.

Resources for Older Adults

The PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource Centers, also known as the PA Link, assists older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing information and connecting them to supports including assistive technology to access telehealth services, check-in calls and options to help reduce social isolation. Any older adult needing support can contact the PA Link Call Center by phone at 1-800-753-8827 or online.

For more information can be found online on mental health and SUD treatment options in Pennsylvania, county-based resources, and the Wolf Administration’s efforts to connect individuals with mental and emotional support and to local resources.

Get the latest local news, weather, and community events. Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter.