NCDHHS launches new support line for people experiencing mental illness, substance use disorder

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched a new Statewide Peer Warmline on Tuesday for people experiencing mental illness or substance use disorder.

The 'warmline' is staffed by peer support specialists, or 'peers', who offer non-clinical support and resources to those in crisis. 'Peers' are people living in recovery with mental illness or substance use disorder.

"Peer support specialists are so important in our mental health and substance use system," Kelly Crosbie said. "Building relationships based on mutuality, trust and empowerment is essential to fostering healing and recovery."

Crosbie is the director of the NCDHHS Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services.

The Peer Warmline will work alongside the North Carolina 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Like 988, it is available 24/7.

People who call 988 have the option to connect with the Peer Warmline if they prefer to speak with a peer.

According to the NCDHHS 988 Performance Dashboard, more than 40 percent of 988 callers are repeat callers who find it helpful to speak with someone.

"When you're in a tough spot, sometimes the best person to talk with is a person who has had similar experiences," NC Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley said. "The Peer Warmline expands our behavioral health crisis systems in North Carolina toward the goal of meeting people where they are and helping prevent crises in the first place."

Anyone can call 1-855-PEERS NC (855-733-7762) or call or text 988 or chat at

The statewide Peer Warmline will be run by Promise Resource Network, a peer-run organization in Mecklenburg County. It is part of NCDHHS' broader strategy to improve behavioral health in North Carolina.