Virus hotline launched, teen number expanded The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Virus hotline launched, teen number expanded

Virus hotline launched, teen number expanded
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AFN NEWS STAFF

The worsening coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a new hotline for Arizonans and prompted expansion of another for anxious teenagers.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Sunday launched a statewide COVID-19 Hotline through $2 million in funding provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The hotline is administered by 2-1-1 Arizona and the Crisis Response Network and will offer an entry point to field questions and concerns from Arizona residents about COVID-19.

“As we continue to combat COVID-19 in Arizona, we want to ensure the public has access to resources needed to stay safe and healthy,” Ducey said in a release. “With this hotline launch, Arizonans can get important COVID-19 related information in English and Spanish by simply dialing 2-1-1.”

Meanwhile, in response to the impact of school closures, Teen Lifeline is expanding its crisis texting hours for teens through its free, confidential and anonymous hotline.

Indirectly noting the rise in teen suicides before the virus even broke out, Teen Lifeline said in an announcement, “Students being away from friends and trusted adults will mean that they need the crisis hotline’s services now more than ever.”

Teens can call or text if they are struggling and need someone to talk to and the hotline also is also available to parents and other adults in need of mental health and suicide prevention resources for their children.

People around the clock can call 602-248-8336. They can text that number noon-9 p.m. on weekdays and 3-9 p.m. on weekends.

Teen peer counselors answer the phones from 3-9 p.m. daily.

Teen Lifeline is a Phoenix-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is “to provide a safe, confidential and crucial crisis intervention service for teens throughout Arizona.”

Established in 1986, Teen Lifeline is accredited through the American Association of Suicidology. Last year trained, volunteer peer counselors between the ages of 15-19 answered more than 25,600 calls and 2,400 text messages.

Information: teenlifeline.org.

The COVID-19 hotline for Arizonans – which has information on virus prevention, testing, what to do if you get sick – is available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. only  γ

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