H-SANTA MARIA

Sep 7, 2012 12:49 AM by Jeanette Trompeter

Transitions Mental Health Expands services to Santa Maria, Lompoc, Guadalupe

Tranistion Mental Health Association, a longtime public health organization in San Luis Obispo County, in launching a "Freindship Line" in Northern Santa Barbara County for people living with mental illness.

The Friendship Line is a peer-to-peer, non-crisis telephone support line, which is run and staffed by people who have experienced mental illness themselves. The Friendship Line is not a crisis line but will work in conjunction with SLO Hotline and other crisis lines in Santa Barbara County.

The Friendship Line provides supportive listening for callers living with a mental illness in Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Lompoc. "Calls to the Friendship Line generally involve conversations about everyday aspects of life, mental health symptoms and recovery, daily responsibilities, relationships, and positive life events," said Steve Greene, Program Manager. "We hope that callers value being able to freely discuss any topic they choose and to experience a personal connection while doing so."

The Friendship Line is available seven nights a week from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. by calling 805-345-1877. People can call anytime and leave a message if calling outside the designated time and staff will return calls during operating hours. "The Friendship Line is unique, providing a friendly source of peer support during hours when other services are often not available," said Greene.

Four people have already been hired to help staff the line, and a bilingual staff member will be hired to help answer calls for people who only speak Spanish.

A similar Warmline for South Santa Barbara County is coming soon as part of this same project.

If there is an emergency please call 911 or for an emotional crisis please call the crisis Hotline at 800-549-4499.

Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. TMHA operates 27 programs at over 35 locations that reach over 2,000 people and 1,500 families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

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