Experienced, trained mental health professionals are available 24/7 to help young people stay safe and healthy with effective, secure counseling and referrals. .Dutchess TEXTS is a free 24/7 service available to anyone experiencing a crisis and is part of the Dutchess County’s HELPLINE program. Although Dutchess County HELPLINE (485-9700 or TOLL-FREE: 877-485-9700) handles more than 22,000 calls annually, texting has become a dominant method of communication, particularly for people under 25 years old. Dutchess TEXTS increases accessibility for young people to help ensure they can connect with supports to address mental health, relationship or substance abuse issues that they, or someone they know, might by experiencing. People utilizing Dutchess TEXTS will receive the same emotional support, information and problem solving help as those who call Dutchess County HELPLINE.
Over the past five years, Dutchess County has seen an increase in death by suicide for the first time in any previous year five period in the last 30 years. Dutchess County is also experiencing a public health crisis of prescription drug/opiate drug abuse, including heroin, with more overdose hospitalizations and deaths being reported than ever before. Dutchess County has the highest number of admissions of 18-34 year olds to certified rehabilitation programs in the Mid-Hudson region. Dutchess County HELPLINE is accredited by the American Association of Suicidality and is a member of LifeNet’s National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Dutchess TEXTS is offered in partnership with the National Crisis Text Line (CTL). Partnering with CTL provides the benefit of a support structure in an established system, excellent training network and the ability to work with other call centers across the country that are committed to providing high quality crisis services with the goal of saving lives.
For more information about the services offered through the Department of Mental Hygiene, including Dutchess TEXTS, visit dutchessny.gov. Dutchess County HELPLINE is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, and can be reached at (877) 485-9700. To utilize Dutchess Texts, text “DMH” to 741 741.