Crisis Support Hotline
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Maryland Mind Health – A Source of Help and Encouragement

January 10, 2021

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced the launch of MD Mind Health, a new text-based mental health initiative to fight isolation and encourage mental wellness.

“Staying connected with family, friends and other support systems is more challenging, and more important than ever,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “In difficult times, it can make a difference to know you’re not alone.” Maryland’s crisis hotline saw a significant increase in volume since the beginning of the pandemic, especially in text messages.

Anyone can sign up for daily messages by simply texting 898-211.

The MD Mind Health program is an extension of mental outreach provided by state Behavioral Health Authority. Texts sent through the program will not only provide supportive mental health messages, but also will remind recipients that immediate access to mental health services is available. If in distress, individuals can call 211, chat through the 211 website, or text 898-211. All actions will link the individual to a call specialist available 24/7.

More than half of Americans — 56 percent — surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation in late April, reported that the coronavirus outbreak has caused them to experience at least one negative effect on their mental health, such as problems with sleeping or eating, increased alcohol use, or worsening chronic conditions. Even before COVID-19, anxiety ranked as one of the most common mental health disorders globally.

Text 898-211 to sign up for MD Mind Health to receive encouragement, reminders and resources for staying connected. Messages include tips about self-compassion and self-care, concrete suggested actions, recommended podcasts and apps, inspirational quotes and information on how to find community resources and get help if needed.

People in crisis can get immediate help by calling Maryland’s crisis hotline (211, press 1), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), or SAMHSA's national emergency number (1-800-273-8255). Maryland veterans can also enroll in Operation Roll Call (1-877-770-4801) — a program that offers regular check-in calls and a chance to talk to someone who can offer support.