California creates first toll-free statewide mental health line

California creates first toll-free statewide mental health line
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California officials announced the launch of the state’s first toll-free mental health line, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D) said Monday.

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomCalifornia becomes first state to mandate later start times at public schools New California law bans school lunch debt shaming California governor signs law banning manufacture, sale of fur products MORE (D) allocated $10.8 million over three years for the California Peer-Run Warm Line, which will feature nonemergency emotional support and referrals to all residents, according to a statement from Ting’s office.

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The “warm line” will serve to meet the needs of people who are seeking emotional or mental assistance but are not in crisis.

“When addressing issues surrounding health, the conversation must also include emotional wellness. This new state resource builds on our current mental health system by serving a population that is not in crisis but still in need of support,” said Ting, who has championed the initiative.

“Too many Californians are struggling with mental health and emotional well-being challenges. Peer-to-peer support is a proven way of helping people stay healthy and get the help they need. The California Peer-Run Warm Line is an important resource for so many people, and I’m thrilled we were able to get it funded,” state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), another primary advocate for the line, said in a statement.

Upon the initial rollout, the warm line will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays, with a goal of transitioning to 24/7 service by the end of the year. San Francisco has operated a similar service since 2014.