When a Crisis Line Becomes a Lifeline

“It is truly gratifying when we hear from someone we helped.”

At Chimes, we focus on helping everyone we serve to live full, productive, and self-empowered lives — and if we learned anything during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that mental wellness is fundamental to that goal.

People living in Chester County, PA know that Chimes Holcomb is a safe and supportive space for adults, teens, and children experiencing mental health challenges — especially those in crisis.

Through a partnership with Chester County, Chimes Holcomb handles all inbound calls for the local crisis mental health and suicide prevention hotlines. As of January, we are also one of just 200 call centers throughout the country assigned to handle inbound calls from Chester County for the new national 988 suicide and mental health crisis lifeline.

When someone in crisis calls a mental health or suicide prevention hotline, they will find a calming voice on the other end of the line — a highly skilled and trained Chimes Holcomb counselor ready to stabilize the caller and learn more about their specific crisis.

Once they triage the situation, that counselor can help connect the caller to the resources they need — whether that’s dispatching a mobile crisis unit in the case of imminent danger, or in less urgent cases, refer the caller to a walk-in mental health crisis or rehabilitation center.

Reasons for calling the hotline are as varied as the people we serve themselves. Some may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. Others may have an acute substance abuse or addiction-related challenge. Victims of domestic violence also call our hotline seeking help. “Our work is challenging and difficult, but it’s also incredibly rewarding, said Melanie Howsen, Clinical Coordinator for Valley Creek’s Crisis Center.

In addition to our hotlines, Holcomb offers comprehensive, recovery-oriented, culturally competent crisis care to help individuals regain control of their lives with the right supports and interventions. “We recognize we are working with people who are at a low point in their lives,” says Howsen. “It is truly gratifying when we hear from someone we helped, or a family member, and they tell us what a difference our services made in that moment.”

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, we are extraordinarily grateful for Chimes supporters like you who make this lifesaving work possible. With the addition and promotion of the new 988 number, the Chester County call center has seen steady increases month over month in the number of cases handled.

Thank you for ensuring Chimes Holcomb can be there for people with behavioral health challenges, not just during this important month but all year round.

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