Turn to 211 website provides access to crisis counseling

Site connects those in need with resources, services for support
Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 21:50:21-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Department of Children and Families is now partnering with the 211 helpline to promote mental health resources.

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The Turn to 211 website contains useful links, helplines and tips for coping with traumatic events.

At the 211 office Friday, people like Lisa were working to help people in need.

"Twenty-four hours a day there's someone here to take a call if you just need someone to talk to," Lisa said.

Lisa, a 211 operator, says she received many calls from seniors last year who were looking for comfort during the pandemic.

She has worked at the community helpline and crisis hotline based in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast for five years. She said last year she received many calls from seniors dealing with isolation.

"Suddenly they have to be sequestered away from everyone for their own health, and it’s very lonely, and they feel shut off from the world," Lisa said.

Sharon L'Herrou, the president of 211, said the calls aren't slowing down.

"Last week I looked at it and we were at 290 calls a day last week, and that compared to 209 the week before. So, pretty significant increase day-to-day," L'Herrou said.

Sharon L'Herrou, president of 211
Despite signs that the pandemic is improving, Sharon L'Herrou of 211 says the calls aren't slowing down.

The new Turn to 211 website is loaded with tools to navigate the pandemic.

"We saw a really large increase in need, and the state recognized that and they went after a federal grant to allow us to hire some additional staffing," L'Herrou said.

She said their organization is celebrating 50 years of service and technology is helping them reach more people.

"The understanding that health is health .... our physical health and your mental health. All of that is your health and we need to pay attention to our overall well-being," L'Herrou said.