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Help with Stress from the Holidays and High-Risk Terror Alert Is a Telephone Call Away

Sunday, December 22, 2002

(Washington, DC) During this holiday season, with its high-risk national threat alert, the DC Department of Mental Health (DMH) wants to remind residents that help is only a telephone call away.  Mental health professionals at the Access HelpLine—1 (888) 7WE-HELP—are available to talk with children and adults about their concerns stemming from the heightened threat of terrorist attacks or other issues. The Access HelpLine is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 100 languages are spoken through a translation service.

“For many, the holiday season is a stressful time of the year and now federal officials have raised the threat alert status to code orange.  The added fear produced by the threat of terrorist attacks can take a toll on our mental health,” said DMH Director Martha B. Knisley. “Thanks to the Access HelpLine, citizens don’t have to tackle the stress alone.”  If more assistance is needed, DMH staff can provide the links to those services.

People may call the Access HelpLine to:

  • Get help with problem solving.
  • Discuss concerns.
  • Determine if additional mental health or other types of services are needed.
  • Request printed materials about preparing for emergencies and how to handle one's emotions related to terrorist attacks.

For more information about the Department of Mental Health, please visit our website.