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Lamont: Call 211 For Mental Health Services

Experts warn of challenging winter months ahead, as the pandemic worsens.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont encouraged residents with mental health and addiction challenges to reach out to state agencies for help during the pandemic. The state is trying to prevent a rise in suicides.Lamont said the end-of-year holiday season is a stressful time for most people, which is why he’s reminding folks to seek mental health and addiction help from state agencies by calling Connecticut’s 211 helpline.

“On the other side of that line you got a friend. You got a verbal hug. If you are a teen we can get you in contact with another teen. If you have a crisis we’ll get you in contact with the right person," Lamont said. "This could be the ultimate present you give this holiday season that gift of love to a lot of folks who are in need.”

Vanessa Dorantes, the state’s Commissioner for the Department of Children and Families, said Connecticut has an average of about eight suicides a year by children under the age of 18.

“We are at that number at this point with four of those having occurred in October,” Dorantes said.

Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner for the department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said the adult suicide rate in Connecticut is lower than the national average and they are yet to see an uptick this year.

“That data is still coming in," said Delphin-Rittmon. "So it’s something that we are watching and tracking.”

A mobile crisis supervisor with United Family Services says their call volume is on the rise.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.