Fort Lauderdale, FL, January 24, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- A new national helpline, 877-HELP-4-HEP, run by and for people affected by hepatitis C will formally launch February 1, 2012. This new consumer resource is the result of a year-long collaboration among five national nonprofits with a combined 90 years’ experience in phone-based peer counseling.
Being diagnosed with hepatitis C creates many emotional and social challenges. It is especially complicated by the lack of comprehensive medical, mental health, and community support services. People with hepatitis C report spending countless hours trying to find a reliable support and information. Resources are few and often transient based on available funding.
Judi, one of the 877-HELP-4-HEP counselors states, “People with hepatitis C just can’t seem to get the help they need. Sometimes, I’m the fourth or fifth person they have spoken to. As a peer counselor, I can share common experiences and talk about different coping strategies and resources. When I was diagnosed I had many of the concerns and questions that they are having and since then have spoken to people with similar experiences. I can really set their minds at ease with answers to their questions that contribute to a sense of well-being and hope.”
Unique to 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443) are specially trained peer counselors using a structured approach to help callers navigate through screening, diagnosis, medical evaluation, and treatment. Follow-up contact by the counselors keep callers engaged at each step of their journey and help them make and follow through with their hepatitis C related decisions.
Additional HELP-4-HEP assets include an up-to-date national database of 25,000 referral resources and a secure shared caller database for counseling continuity. Andi Thomas, the helpline’s managing partner, stated, “What sets us apart is our standardized health messaging and the follow-up call feature. HELP-4-HEP is designed to maintain contact with callers to improve health outcomes as well as document and measure the impact of our services.”
HELP-4-HEP is administered by The Support Partnership whose mission is to improve the well-being of people affected by viral hepatitis through collaborations that increase service quality, access, and impact. Founding partners are HealthPro (formerly Hep-C ALERT), FL; Hepatitis C Association, NJ; Hepatitis Education Project, WA; Hep C Connection, CO; and Project Inform, CA.
877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443) operates Monday through Friday 9:00am to 7pm EST. To learn more, visit www.help4hep.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.