'Warm line' free counseling just a phone call away

Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 06, 2020

BALTIMORE — They know each others voice, but Thursday was the first time Monifa Wilson saw her client Catrice Greer through a zoom call.

“There’s a lot of stigma with mental health that prevents people from seeking care sometimes,” Greer said.

Like so many of us, Greer deals with stress and anxiety.

“Sometimes you just need someone else where you can go and be vulnerable in that space,” Greer said. “For me I needed to be vulnerable in that safe space. I don’t need to always wear the take charge hat.”

She connected with the Pro Bono Counseling Project through their new “Warm Line” Partnership with 2-1-1.

“As so many more people have identified, this is their first opportunity reaching out for therapy and I’m genuinely really happy that people are taking more time for self care,” Wilson said.

The Pro Bono Counseling project is a non profit that provides free counseling and connects people with long term mental health resources.

Any Greensfelder is the Executive Director of the Pro Bono Counseling Project.

She said when the stay at home order was first issued 2-1-1 saw a huge increase in calls for all kinds of services including mental health help.

“With the financial crisis, with school being closed, with people losing their jobs,” Greensfelder said. “They were finding that in addition to wanting to talk about those resources people really wanted to talk about how stressed, anxious, and frustrated they were with the whole situation and not knowing what was going to happen tomorrow.”

You just call 2-1-1 ask for the warm line and you're connected to a counselor.

“As soon as you start naming and saying you know this is really stressing me out. I’m really feeling anxious about this. I’m not sure what tomorrow is going to bring. Just having someone to listen to you can bring immense relief for folks."

The free service is funded through United Way for at least three more months.

“I’m not asking them a lot of questions,” Wilson said. “It’s a little different than when you call some other places. I’m just allowing them to kind of guide the conversation in the direction that they want. However everybody is talking to me about some serious challenges they are having that is in some way shape or form related to COVID.”

To learn more about the program click here or just call 2-1–1 and ask about it.