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Help For Those Who Need It

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Credit: Scott Robbin, Flickr/Creative Commons

The pressures of the pandemic have been piling up on many people. Some feel anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed; they may have thought of suicide. Quinton Askew, CEO of 211 Maryland, the crisis-call center, says people can now sign up for a weekly phone conversation with a mental-health professional--the first such service in the country.

Then Cheryl Maxwell, program manager for the Black Mental Health Alliance, talks about the foundation that honors her late sister, an artist who died by suicide. And Maxwell says that after so many months of pandemic stresses, she’s hearing hope from people who contact the alliance:

“People are ready. They’re ready for sanity, they’re ready for cooperation, they’re ready to feel better about themselves and about people around them.” 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact Maryland’s crisis hotline by calling 2-1-1 and pressing option 1 or texting 898-211. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for those in crisis or those looking to help someone else: 1-800-273-8255. The Crisis Text Line offers emotional crisis support at 741741

Links: 211 Maryland, Black Mental Health Alliance, The Carolyn Anne Foundation

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'