Friday, February 10, 2012

Tomorrow is National United Way 2-1-1 Awareness Day

Every hour of every day, Connecticut residents dial 2-1-1 or go online to to get connected to essential health and human services resources. In fact, Connecticut was the first state in the nation to offer this essential service to all of its residents. On February 11, (2-11) 2-1-1 operations across the nation will celebrate National United Way 2-1-1 Awareness Day to highlight the vital role this service plays in communities across the nation. Currently, over 86% of the U.S. population has access to a 2-1-1 service.

In Connecticut in 2011, United Way 2-1-1 handled a record breaking 390,000 calls resulting in over 525,000 requests for services from individuals and families looking for connection to services. The top five requests for services were for those who sought help finding housing, utility and financial assistance, resources during storms and mental healthcare services. Call volume increased 13% over the previous year. Visits to increased 8%.

A caller to 2-1-1 will reach a highly trained, degreed call specialist who will help them prioritize their needs, explore the options and programs that are available and make referrals to services that will best fit the caller's needs. 2-1-1 call specialists empower callers by educating them about programs so that informed decisions can be made.

In order to provide the most accurate resource information available, 2-1-1 maintains a comprehensive, continually updated database of health and human services. This database contains information on basic needs resources, child care services, programs for youth and older adults, substance abuse treatment resources, health services and so much more. 2-1-1 also handles thousands of suicide and crisis calls each year and is fully accredited by the American Association of Suicidology.

2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 2-1-1 or visiting Calls to 2-1-1 are confidential and anonymous. Translation and TDD/TTY services are available.  

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