DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Department of Behavioral Health Director Dr. Barbara Bazron encouraged residents to benefit from the city’s free mental health hotline in a statement.
The remarks came as part of mental health awareness month which kicked off on May 1.
Residents who call the mental health hotline at 1(888) 793-4357 (1(888) 7WE-HELP) will be able to receive real-time help from a trained mental health specialist free of charge, when they are feeling depressed or in need of mental support.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We want residents to think about taking care of their mental health the same way they think about going to the doctor for a physical or to the dentist to deal with tooth pain – it’s necessary and normal,” Bowser said.
Taking care of your mental health is normal and necessary.
As we recognize #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, we’re working to reduce stigmas around accessing care.
Residents are encouraged to call the District’s Mental Health Hotline at 1-888-793-4357 for free, 24/7 support. pic.twitter.com/gORbgViXU7
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) May 13, 2022
“As Washingtonians deal with a range of issues – whether that’s daily stressors or ongoing mental health disorders, we want residents to know that the Mental Health Hotline is available 24/7 and that it is free. If you need someone to talk to or you need help getting connected to mental health care, trained professionals will help you,” the mayor added.
The service was established for residents experiencing anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 crisis, but it has continued to offer personal counseling and support for post-pandemic and everyday stressors.
“The Mental Health Hotline gives people the support they need when they need it with just a telephone call, at no cost,” Dr. Bazron said. “We’re here to listen and respond to mental health challenges before they reach a crisis.”