Kentucky Governor Announces New Substance Abuse Initiative Call Center
Governor Matt Bevin announced a new substance abuse center is being launched by The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and Operation UNITE. The goal is to unite patrons across the Kentucky with proper drug treatment; this initiative is set to begin December 1.
Operation UNITE handles roughly 1,000 calls per month from critical locals, desperate for assistance with substance abuse. The new initiative will allow Kentuckians who are either battling substance abuse or have a family member in the holds of abuse, to chat with specialists regarding treatment and resources.
Not only must the representatives be properly trained on the fundamentals of call center technology, but these specialists must be well-trained in the area of substance abuse in order to properly screen and assess callers to match them with the best treatment program available. There is also a level of empathy the specialist needs to have to allow the caller to be vulnerable as well as to accept help. This is a debilitating illness and it must be taken seriously. All of these elements must be properly addressed in order for the call center program to be successful.
“There are so many people across the commonwealth who have nowhere to turn when confronted with their own addiction or that of a loved one,” said Nancy Hale, President/CEO of Operation UNITE. “They are desperate for answers. They are desperate for help. This call center will guide people toward recovery. It will give them hope.”
The new Kentucky Call Center will offer referrals to patients who need either private or public treatment, based on insurance. This will also include assistance with medications and those desiring faith-related treatment; a live agent will be responsible for making sure all of the factors are covered down to cost and locale of treatment.
“This epidemic is gripping people in every corner of our state and every part of our society,” said Gov. Bevin. “If people don’t know about the ability to get help, then help is not going to be given to people. This phone number will connect callers to a live person who understands this exact issue and will link them to community resources that can help.”
Specialists are being staffed at the Kentucky Help Call Center through UNITE with funding from the Kentucky Justice Cabinet in the amount of one million dollars total over two years. Kentucky residents struggling with substance abuse can get in touch with a specialist by calling 1-833-8KY-HELP (1-833-859-4357).