Health Department Launches VTHelplink Referral Resource to help people with substance use disorder access services during the COVID-19 crisis
The Vermont Department of Health has launched VTHelplink, a new, single-source clearinghouse for Vermonters to receive free, confidential and personalized information and referrals to substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services throughout the state.
“The global pandemic has not erased the continued urgent need for substance use-related services for Vermonters,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “In fact, the extraordinary steps required to stop the spread of COVID-19 creates new challenges for people living with substance use disorder to get the services they need.”
VTHelplink features a call center of trained staff and clinicians. Callers can get information, referrals, resources and educational materials on substance use for themselves, family and friends, or on behalf of clients.
At the VTHelplink.org website, in addition to information resources, an online screening tool is available that Vermonters can use to learn about treatment options that meet their needs. People can also securely chat online with call center staff through the website.
The system also includes an appointment board designed to increase accessibility of treatment appointments by tracking availability by level of service (e.g., residential treatment) and population (e.g., people who are pregnant).
Dr. Levine said centralized coordination of substance use treatment and recovery services has been in the works for the past several years and complements the statewide referral and information services provided by Vermont211.
“These are more than simply difficult times, and we have no more important a mission than to do everything we can to create an infrastructure that bridges the challenges we face during this pandemic. VTHelplink is key resource for anyone who needs or wants to get treatment and succeed in their recovery,” said Dr. Levine. “We are all in this together, and we will persevere.”
Here’s how you can reach VTHelplink:
Dial 802-565-LINK (5465). The call center is open 8 am to 10 pm weekdays, and 8:00 a.m to -6:00 p.m. weekends and holidays, 365 days per year.