From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Unlike a hotline for those in immediate crisis, warmlines provide early intervention with emotional support that can prevent a crisis — and a more costly 911 call or emergency-room visit. The lines are typically free, confidential peer-support services staffed by volunteers or paid employees who have experienced mental health conditions themselves.
People often struggle to access basic mental health services without such help, according to Wiener. ‘They have the choice between nothing, a friend or going to the ER,’ he said.
‘We’re making relationships as we get to know people and they get to know us,’ said Rose, who is also a licensed clinical social worker. ‘Emotional support keeps us all healthy and establishes the kinds of connections we need in our lives.’
In Omaha, nine in 10 people who contact Safe Harbor Peer Crisis Services reported its warmline prevented their hospitalization, said Aileen Brady, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Community Alliance, a mental health agency that operates the program.
‘We could see a national network for warmlines in about five years,’ said Salazar. ‘That’s really needed since, day-to-day, no one really focuses on people who are not yet in crisis.'”