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Posted on: September 22, 2021

Dutchess County Launches New, Improved HELPLINE Mental Health & Suicide Prevention App

Helpline Application Graphic

Dutchess County Launches New, Improved HELPLINE
Mental Health & Suicide Prevention App

Poughkeepsie, NY... The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has released a new, improved behavioral health app, “Dutchess County HELPLINE,” designed to help people recognize warning signs of suicide, as well as provide a wealth of behavioral health resources for information and assistance for those struggling with addiction, substance use issues and/or mental illness. The app replaces the original HELPLINE app launched in 2014. The new HELPLINE app is an extension of Dutchess County’s 24/7 crisis intervention services, including the HELPLINE crisis telephone line (845-485-9700), which offers mental health professionals available 24 hours a day to provide support and assistance via phone call or text.

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “With all that people have gone through, particularly in the last year-and-a-half, mental health issues are more challenging than ever. This app is an important resource for those struggling with mental health and substance use disorders, as well as family and friends who wish to help those suffering. We encourage all to download this app today, regardless of whether or not you are currently struggling with mental health issues, because you never know when you or someone you love may need help.”

The new HELPLINE app features a variety of tools and resources, including videos and articles, as well as direct connections to mental health professionals for moments of crisis. The app’s resources include:

  • “Call for help” and “Text for help” direct links – simply press for immediate connection with Dutchess County’s HELPLINE, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with experienced mental health professionals.
  • Interactive Safety Plan – create a personal safety plan and have a ready list of customized tools and resources to provide support when an individual feels they are starting to have a crisis.
  • Suicide Prevention tools – features healthy steps to utilize if one feels suicidal thoughts.
  • Narcan Information & Training – learn about life-saving Narcan and training opportunities to learn how to use it in the event of an overdose.
  • Resource map – highlighting local food pantries and behavioral health facilities.
  • Calendar – schedule of events, trainings and activities hosted by DBCH, other county departments and more.
  • Mental Health Tips - articles and videos for mental wellness.

The app will also include a link to the Dutchess County Emergency Preparedness app, which is expected to also launch in the coming weeks and will provide up-to-date information during emergencies, such as weather events.

Easily accessible mental health resources are more important than ever before, as local hospitals continue to see significant volume of mental health-related issues in their emergency departments and overdose deaths continue to rise. The new HELPLINE app is part of a broad array of 24/7 crisis services and mental health resources offered by Dutchess County. Other resources include the 24/7 Stabilization Center, located at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie, where mental health professionals listen, access the specific situation, and can work on a plan for healing and connect patients to appropriate services. Dutchess County’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Team is also available 24/7 to travel to respond to people where they are. Intensive Treatment Alternatives Program (ITAP), street outreach by recovery coaches and harm reduction education are among the other programs available to those struggling with substance use disorders. For those who are struggling themselves or have a loved one struggling with suicidal thoughts, there are different suicide prevention trainings available. More information on these resources can be found at dutchessny.gov.

The HELPLINE app offers one more way for people to connect and get emotional support, information, and problem-solving help that may prevent a tragedy.

Deputy DBCH Commissioner and Director of Community Services Jean-Marie Niebuhr noted, “Support is important for everyone. We can all benefit from this app, not just those diagnosed with a behavioral health condition. These services are accessible to the community to help people thrive."

The Dutchess County HELPLINE mobile app is available for free download through the Apple Store or the Google Play Store by searching “Dutchess County HELPLINE.” Those who had the original HELPLINE app will need to delete and download the new one to be connected.

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