“2-1-1 Maryland Day” Highlights Statewide Helpline
211 Maryland celebrates 2-1-1 Day by urging Marylanders to use its network to access critical services
BALTIMORE – On February 11, 211 Maryland celebrates National 2-1-1 Day, which recognizes over 200 211 networks located across the country. 211 Maryland is a local nonprofit that connects Marylanders to essential health and human services. 211 resource specialists are available 24/7/365 by text, chat and phone. They can help individuals find local resources for food, housing, employment, health care, mental health and aging and disability.
This year, Governor Lawrence Hogan, Jr., issued a proclamation declaring February 11, 2022, as 2-1-1 Maryland Day. The proclamation acknowledges the importance of 211 Maryland as “a statewide resource always available by telephone and internet to connect residents to health and human services at any time.”
In fiscal year 2021, more than 499,000 Marylanders connected to 211 through phone, text or chat lines. More than 50,500 people reached out for housing assistance and homelessness prevention, an increase of 40% from 2020, and more than 41,000 people called for utility assistance. However, mental health resources remain as the most critical need in Maryland. Last year, more than 55,000 people connected to 211 in search of mental health and substance use services, and 39,000 connected for mental health crisis services. In nearly 90% of the crisis calls, 211 specialists deescalated the situation.
This year, as the pandemic persists and stress and isolation become more prevalent, 211 Maryland focuses on its mental health and substance use services. For people in crisis or in need of mental health or substance use resources, they can call 2-1-1 and press 1. Available 24/7, people are connected to a trained and caring specialist.
“As we celebrate 2-1-1 Day, we recognize the impact 211 Maryland has in our state by connecting anyone in need to vital resources, including things like food, housing and utilities supports,” said Delegate Bonnie Cullison. “But in these times, one of the most needed services may just be finding ways to cope in stressful times. If you or a loved one needs immediate help, please contact Maryland’s mental health and substance use helpline at 2-1-1 and press 1. It’s free and confidential.”
For people who might be considering suicide or self-harm, or feeling alone or depressed, they can enroll in the new Health Check program. Each week a 211 specialist will schedule a call to check in. The program launched this past summer following the passage of the Thomas Bloom Raskin Act and now has over 200 participants statewide.
“As we celebrate 2-1-1 Day, I want to remind Marylanders of the free and confidential 211 Health Check program,” said Senator Craig Zucker, one of the sponsors of the Thomas Bloom Raskin Act. “It provides proactive mental health check-ins to support those with anxiety, stress, depression, or who just need to talk. You are not alone.”
211’s work is made possible by its network of local call centers and partnerships with nonprofits and state agencies. “Our partnerships are moving Maryland toward a more holistic approach to service provision,” said Quinton Askew, president and CEO of 211 Maryland. “Our 2-1-1 system and the communities we serve are stronger as a result. We are so grateful to all of our partners and look forward to continuing to serve Marylanders as a single point of access for so many essential and life-saving services.”
211 Maryland is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves as the central connector to health and human services for the State of Maryland, lifting up individuals and communities by linking those with unmet needs to essential resources. As the 24/7/365 access point to vital resources that help individuals and communities thrive, 211 Maryland connects those in need through call center, website, text and chat to support services for natural and man-made disasters, housing, food, domestic violence, aging and disabilities, tax and utilities, employment, healthcare access and veterans’ affairs; additionally, 211 Maryland offers confidential crisis response for substance use, mental health and suicide emergencies at pressone.211md.org.