There are times in everyone’s life when we may find ourselves in a crisis with no one to call or no one that will listen. To aid those experiencing a crisis, local and state resources have been made available.
Locally, The Counseling Center in partnership with the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board (ADAMHS ) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has operated a crisis center in Portsmouth for three years. The mission of the center is to help those in need.
The goal of the Crisis Center is to provide a service with information and referral processes, which will connect callers in distress to help, including assessment services and agency referrals for both information and treatment centers.
Crisis Center Director Sean Davis has been quoted as saying, “the Crisis Center operates on the belief that there is always hope for someone in crisis. From that starting point, this is our third year of operations and we continue to serve an overwhelming need for help.”
He said the center will receive calls from as far away as Texas from those seeking support.
Davis said most callers are seeking information, emotional support or specific referral information to connect them to available services.
He said the phones at the crisis center are answered every day by trained center staff.
“We have a lot of loved ones and family members call who need information or referral information for their loved one in crisis. Then, there are calls from people we have worked with before or have been clients of the Crisis Center facility, who need that voice on the phone that they feel they know and trust, just to check in with,” Davis said in a released statement. “We are part of their support system, we encourage that connection. One recommendation we make, when people leave our crisis center, is to keep in touch with us, whether that is for additional support and information or to let us know how they’re doing. With continued support from the community, we will be there, listening and helping, 24 hours a day.”
The state launched a crisis text line in 2016, those interested in using the service can text “4hope” to 741741, by doing this the person will be connected to a crisis counselor.
According to released information about the state crisis test line, the creation of the service was the result of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Tracy Plouck, director of OhioMHAS has been quoted as saying, “Crisis hotlines have been used successfully for decades, but technology is changing, and we need to be sure to meet Ohioans where they are in order to get them the help they need.”
By texting the state crisis line, people will be connected with a counselor who can help address a number of issues including, suicidal thoughts, bullying, depression, self-harm, and others.
Susan Shultz, executive director of the ADAMHS Board of Scioto, Adams and Lawrence Counties shared some data about the state crisis text line.
Shultz said since the crisis text line rolled out in 2016 they have had 33,466 text conversations from Ohio. They have had 240 active rescues.
“Which means (active rescues) they would go out get those people help the minute they texted,” Shultz said.
She said 10 percent of those texting the line were under the age of 13 and 11 percent were transgender youth. The peak time of texting was 9 – 11 p.m.
“They also have what they call a high risk word search to show the severity of texts that come through. The word cut is on the top 10 list for cutting or self harm,” Shultz said.
Through the Scioto County Health Coalition Shultz is the chairwoman of the Behavioral Health Committee. She along with others have formed a crisis response team.
The vision of the response team is to have them respond to places that might have experienced or are connected to a crisis. She said the team is capable to respond to school districts and businesses as needed.
The committee has also formed a speakers bureau. The vision of the speakers bureau is to have a team of people capable of speaking to groups, classes or clubs about available resources.
The Crisis Center’s 24-hour hot line is 740-354-1010, or toll free 1-855-381-1010. The services offered through the hot line include support, information, referral services, ambulatory opiate detox, individual and group counseling and diagnostic assessments. The center is open 24 hours a day.
For more information about the crisis response team or the speakers bureau visit the ADAMHS Board at www.adamhsals.org or call 740-354-5648.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter