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Mental Health Support Warm Line Use On The Rise In Maine

A growing number of Mainers are reaching for the phone to seek mental health support.

Calls to the state’s Intentional Warm Line are up 44 percent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Scott Metzger of Sweetser, which operates the Warm Line, says callers are also spending about 50 percent more time on the phone, which is answered by peer support specialists.

“We had the national politics going on, and now we have the spike in cases. So when you put all that together, now it’s come back. You know, people kind of settled into their life. But now it’s come back,” he says. “Loneliness is huge. So we are dealing with people in Maine that are geographically isolated. And then a lot of people who are emotionally isolated.”

Metzger says that loneliness has been exacerbated by the pandemic. He’s urging anyone who is experiencing difficulty to call 866-771-WARM. The state also has a crisis line for those with more severe needs.