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A Friendly Phone Call To Ward Off Loneliness

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In response to the pandemic, the Mental Health Association of Maryland launched the Connections Project, matching vulnerable seniors in Baltimore County with volunteers who offer a friendly voice and a listening ear over the phone.

Casey Saylor, who oversees the program, tells how volunteers can help lift the spirits of lonely seniors. Then, volunteer Mary Lidard and participant Deborah Cargas describe how conversations about news, politics, and their lives have evolved into real friendship.

To sign up to receive calls, volunteer, or get more materials, click here. Find more MHAMD programs for seniors here.

If you live outside of Baltimore County and want to receive supportive calls or help with errands, check out Apart, Not Alone. The Mental Health Association of Frederick also offers reassurance calls. Call 2-1-1 to get connected to local resources, press option 1 for the crisis hotline.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.