Kevin's Story: Behind the scenes of 211

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)- This morning we're actually going to tell you and show you a little more about the resources behind 211 Maine.

It's a toll-free hotline that connects Mainers with more than 8 thousand health and human services across the state.

Whether it's heating assistance -- food stamps -- or mental health issues -- a call to 211 can answer questions connect you with the right service providers.

211 Maine *is technically* a call center --but if you ask the people answering the phones...

They're a listening center, too.

"We're not robots, you're going to get a live person that at the end of the day, goes home and has their own very real problems. All of us are different but we can all relate to different callers for different reasons"

They take calls from Mainers looking for everything from fuel assistance, to mental health issues.

"we are here for everyone. We don't reveal who you are personally. We're confidential. We're anonymous.

All they ask -- is for your zip code.

But when your issue is mental health related..

It's often an emotional issue -- and a lot is on the line.

Pressing those three numbers -- 211 -- can be a big step: "theres no shame in needing to access mental health services. There are people from all walks of life, all socio-economic statuses that need to access mental health services."

They want you to know -- if you call, you'll talk to a real person, who really cares.

They're not therapists -- but they are trained professionals...ready to field your call, and connect you to help that's out there waiting.


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