Gov. Hutchinson announces new helpline for mental health, drug addiction issues

Gov. Hutchinson announces new helpline for mental health, drug addiction issues
Asa Hutchinson (Source: Facebook)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - A new hotline has been set up by the Arkansas Department of Human Services to direct callers in crisis to the appropriate lines of help.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson made the announcement Wednesday that DHS is launching a helpline with trained staff to assist those seeking help with mental health issues and drug addiction.

Hutchinson said the number of licensed providers certified to offer treatment for those issues has risen from 31 in 2017 to 207 in 2019, a 567-percent increase.

The number of behavioral health agencies has also increased from 253 to 311.

The governor said under new DHS rules, people with substance-abuse and mental health issues have quicker and simpler access to treatment and counseling.

Those new rules allow and encourage new providers to become certified to accept and bill for people on Medicaid who need services for outpatient mental health and drug abuse services.

Mental Health and Addiction Services staff will answer calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The number to call is 844-763-0198.

Copyright 2019 KAIT. All rights reserved.