By Joan Cook, The Hill, October 10, 2019
Today is World Mental Health Day. And, California, a state with 10 percent of the U.S. population, just announced that it’s introducing the first toll-free statewide mental health line for non-emergency emotional support and referrals. What a wonderful way to kick off this occasion. This Peer-Run Warm Line is a reason to celebrate.
As a psychologist, I’ve witnessed first-hand the emotional pains people carry, and how hard it is for them to come in for formal therapy. There are so many stigmas and practical barriers to getting one’s mental health needs addressed, that this telephone line seems like a no-brainer. The effects are likely going to be positive; particularly given that studies on various mental health hotlines, including suicide hotlines, show beneficial effects.
But, in all my enthusiasm, I figured I’d pause and ask some of the national mental health-care scholars I admire what they thought of this new line.