Helpline: 1-800-686-2646 or text NAMI to 741741 1225 Dublin Road, Suite 210, Columbus OH 43215

Written By: Alan Johnson, NAMI Ohio

The NAMI Ohio Helpline received 3,193 contacts in calendar year 2023. This is just the second year since the Helpline was upgraded in 2022 under the direction of NAMI Ohio of Client Navigator Danielle Smart, a trained and experienced social worker with master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Ohio State University.

The Helpline can be accessed toll-free by phone at 800 286-2646 or individuals can utilize the live chat feature available on Facebook and at Calls and messages are answered live during business hours and transferred to an answering service during off-hours for follow-up the next day.

Of the 3,193 contacts to the Helpline last year, 1,971 were by telephone, 664 were through the NAMI Ohio website, and 130 through email. 323 after-hours calls were received.

Nearly half the callers contacted the Helpline about themselves, although many called with concerns about a child, spouse, parent or friend. Some callers were referred to NAMI by other organizations.

Danielle said, as in the past, the prime reason people called was for direct mental health services, followed by crisis services, multiple needs, housing, legal issues, client’s rights, education, education and employment concerns.

While Danielle is the main point of contact as Client Navigator, she works with NAMI staff members and a statewide network of affiliates who are committed to removing barriers to care by identifying critical resources for individuals and families, assessing needs of callers to NAMI Ohio’s crisis line, and doing follow-ups to see that needed help is being received from local providers and support services.

Helpline callers can provide as much or as little information as they feel comfortable giving. The length of the call depends on the needs of the caller.

“Sometimes they just need to talk,” Danielle said previously. “Some of the toughest calls are talking to a parent whose child is going through a mental health crisis. I spend as much time as I need to.”

Calls came from all over the state, as well as outside Ohio. The top counties in terms of contacts were Franklin (523), Cuyahoga (136), Montgomery (61), Hamilton (49), and Delaware (39)