AMHERST – What’s the 2-1-1?
You can find out this morning at NSCC’s Amherst campus on South Albion Street.
“Not a lot of people around here seem to know about it,” said Colleen Dowe, who has organized an information session, happening this morning, about the community and social services helpline.
The three-digit phone line is described by the community health board coordinator as a provincial helping tree that can direct citizens to resources. She gave the example of a person with no money who can’t feed the family –s/he would be told how to get in touch with the local food bank. Another example: a person at home feeling depressed would be directed to mental health services that could help.
Although the phone line was launched back in February, today’s event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon – the featured speaker is the provincial manager of the program, Mike Myette – is aimed at increasing knowledge of the government service.
“I’m really not sure,” said Dowe, when asked who she thought would attend.
She said she knew some of her colleagues would be there, as well as people from NSCC, but that the event is also open to the broader public.
The service can also be accessed online at ns.211.ca, and live access of the website is part of today’s planned presentation (those who phone 211 will have access to a real person, not just recorded messages).
There are services and resources available to town and county residents that more people could utilize, according to Dowe. These include senior safety services and the mental health crisis line. She also mentioned Home First, which can provide support to seniors struggling with living independently, allowing them to potentially stay in their homes longer.