Calif. launches first mental health line

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California on Monday launched its first statewide mental health line to help those struggling with mental and emotional well-being, officials announced.

The free service offers non-emergency emotional support and referrals to anyone who calls or messages the number 1-855-845-7415, KTLA reports.

It will be staffed 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

The goal is to have 24/7 service by the end of the year.

“When addressing issues surrounding health, the conversation must also include emotional wellness. This new state resource builds on our current mental health system by serving a population that is not in crisis but still in need of support,” Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said in a news release posted on his office’s website.

The launch coincides with World Mental Health Day, which is on Thursday.

About 20 percent of adults in the U.S. experience mental health challenges annually, the release stated, citing data from Mental Health America.

The toll-free line was made possible with state budget funding of nearly $11 million over three years, according to the release. Ting, along with Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, championed the allocation.

“Too many Californians are struggling with mental health and emotional well-being challenges,” said Weiner. ” The California Peer-Run Warm Line is an important resource for so many people, and I’m thrilled we were able to get it funded.”

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