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RtoR Mental Health Awareness Month: 2-1-1… An Underused Resource


211-Logo-300x225Although RtoR’s Directory of Family-Endorsed Providers focuses on the northeastern states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, our Resource Specialists receive calls from  people across the nation looking for help for a loved one with a mental health concern.

A website’s reach does not stop at the state line. At rtor.org we try to make sure that all callers have the opportunity to talk with a live person who can help them identify and connect with the relevant services in their own community.  For those callers who live outside our service region, a nationwide service called 2-1-1 may be the solution.

According to the national website, “2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people from all communities and of all ages to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”  This service is available in all 50 states, and Washington DC and Puerto Rico, with 92.6% of Americans living within its reach.

Callers to the 2-1-1 phone line will speak with a community resource specialist who can help them connect with local organizations providing critical services in the broad categories of:

  • Health & Mental Health
  • Human Trafficking
  • Crisis & Emergency
  • Disaster Assistance
  • Food
  • Housing & Utilities
  • Jobs & Support
  • Reentry for Ex-Offenders
  • Veterans

2-1-1 is such a useful and accessible resource, it is surprising that more people are not aware of it.  The Resource Specialists of RtoR.org provide a personalized service to families looking for vetted mental health resources in the NY-NJ-CT-MA region.  When people call from outside that region or when they have a need that cannot be met a provider in our Family-Endorsed Directory, we often refer them to 2-1-1.

iStock_000041024278Medium (mobile phone - 211 page)Specific services provided by 2-1-1 differ from state to state.  In Connecticut, where RtoR.org is based, 2-1-1 provides a mobile outreach service for children in mental health crisis and coordinates the housing referral process for the homeless.  Other states offer other unique services, but most state 2-1-1 lines help with connections to the following:

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
  • addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • reentry help for ex-offenders
  • support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
  • a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional abuse

To contact 2-1-1 in your state, simply dial the numbers 2-1-1 from any phone, or go to www.211.org

Please note:  2-1-1 helplines are operated independently in each state and have no affiliation with www.RtoR.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc.  The information in this article is offered as a service to our users, and is not an official endorsement of 2-1-1 or any of its affiliates.


 Throughout the month of May, RtoR.org will release a daily Post
of the Day in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month

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2 thoughts on “RtoR Mental Health Awareness Month: 2-1-1… An Underused Resource

  1. Jay Boll, Editor in Chief says:


    rtor.org does not help with utility bills and employment. But if you send an email to help@rtor.org and tell us where you live, we might be able to find a service provider in your area who can help you.

    Thanks for checking out our website.


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