NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s crisis hotline has gotten more calls over the last few months from children on the verge of suicide or in emotional distress than ever before.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1cZNZyh) reports it is unclear what’s causing the increase, but noted it could mean more children in crisis or that more are aware that the hotline exists.
The Department of Mental Health and TennCare pay Memphis-based nonprofit Youth Villages to run the statewide program.
Dawn Puster, who is crisis services director for Youth Villages, says trained counselors are always available to help. In the decade since the hotline was set up, she says nearly 100,000 calls have come in with 68,000 that led to home visits.
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has replaced the director of the call center where case workers have struggled to answer phone calls that report child abuse and neglect, reports The Tennessean.
DCS spokesman Brandon Gee said Thursday that Central Intake call center Director Jeanene Waldrum will move to the DCS main office. In her place, the interim call center director will be Dimple Dudley, who began working with the state as a social worker in 1976.
“We’ve been considering making a change for some time,” Gee said. “This was a mutual thing. [Waldrum] had inquired about transferring.”
On Monday, The Tennessean reported an increase in unanswered calls and high staff turnover at the call center, and the department’s recent efforts to find ways to answer the phones more quickly.
Gee said the director change was already being considered at that time.
News release from the Secretary of State’s office:
As voters head to the polls Thursday, they should remember that the state Division of Elections has a toll-free hotline number for anyone who has questions or experiences problems during the voting process.
That number is 1-877-850-4959.
Election officials staffing the hotline can answer questions about the state’s new photo identification law or any other election-related issues.
“This hotline is offered as a public service to Tennesseans and it is the definitive source for information regarding Tennessee elections,” Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said. “I hope citizens will use the hotline to resolve any questions they may have about elections, today or in the future.”
Accurate, official election information can also be found on the Internet at: www.GoVoteTN.com.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Human Services reports receiving 2,500 calls Tuesday to a special hotline.
The phone line was to request an application to participate in the “standard spend down waiver” for TennCare. The waiver is targeted to individuals who have very low incomes or very high medical bills. It is aimed at a specific group of adults: aged, blind, disabled or the relative caretaker of a Medicaid-eligible child. “Spend down” refers to the threshold to qualify.
The 2,500 callers will now be screened.
The hotline has since been closed.