Across Southeast Louisiana, many people need help findng available resources such as housing, food, mental health services, health care, suicide prevention and more. VIA LINK provides this help.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated the phone number 2-1-1 as the official number to call for Health and Human Services, and VIA LINK is the agency in Southeast Louisiana which provides this service. Our contact center counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide crisis counseling and information and referrals to programs which can help with needs such as food, shelter, medical care, financial assistance, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, senior services, childcare and more.
Contact Center Specialists include paid staff as well as volunteers. All are trained to assist callers for a wide range of concerns. From suicide prevention to homelessness, depression, hunger, financial issues, senior care, child care, and other concerns, the specialists listen to callers’ situations and problems and counsels each caller and offers information about how to access appropriate resources for resolution.
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Events
When life seems hopeless or out of control, VIA LINK Contact Center Specialists are here to listen and help.
To reach the VIA LINK Contact Center for Emotional Support:
- Dial 1-800-273-TALK, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL).
VIA LINK handle calls for the following area codes – 504, 985, and 337. VIA LINK is one of two accredited crisis centers in Louisiana that are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network. The 337, 985 and 504 area codes comprise 50% of the daily calls to NSPL from Louisiana.
- Text 504-777-EASE (3273) to reach our Crisis Teen Textline
The Crisis Teen Textline is primarily set to serve youth ages 13-22 experiencing emotional distress. Specialists are able to provide emotional support, information and/or referrals to community resources, and crisis intervention as needed.
Our Community Resource Directory provides a comprehensive, up-to-date listing of health and human services. You can access this information by simply dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-800-749-2673). Printed directories can also be purchased. You may also search for Resources online on our "Resource Page."
Homeless Management Information System
VIA LINK manages the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). This HUD mandated system is a partnership with UNITY of Greater New Orleans. Click here to link to HMIS.
VIA LINK offers training for the following:
- Suicide Awareness Talks - A 2 hour workshop that helps prepare individuals to identify someone with thoughts of suicide and to then be able to connect the person to suicide first-aide resources.
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) – A 2-day skill building workshop that prepares caregivers of all kinds to provide suicide first aid interventions to persons at risk of suicide.
- Comprehensive Crisis Hotline Training – A 70 hour training designed to fully prepare participants for situations they would encounter on the hotline. The skills learned in this training can be easily applied to other work. ASIST is included in the training.
Survivors of Suicide Support Group
VIA LINK, in partnership with Grief Recovery Center, offers a a free, weekly, peer facilitated, clinically overseen support group for those that have lost a loved one to suicide. The group meets in Baton Rouge every Thursday from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. All participants are required to have an intake interview prior to attending group. To schedule an intake interview call group facilitator Sherrard Crespo, LMSW at 504-708-2937
Disaster Related Services
Whether the crisis is a hurricane, flood, ice storm, or other type of disaster, VIA LINK’s 2-1-1 Contactl Center is ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VIA LINK is part of the Louisiana 2-1-1 system that works in concert with public officials in the city, parish and state to provide disaster related information on available resources.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted in 2003, was created to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission developed recommended national standards for reducing prison rape. VIA LINK is currently handles PREA calls for Orleans Parish Prison providing inmates with access to an external confidential reporting avenue (outside of OPSO), and counseling/emotional support services. PREA hotline serves inmate victims and third parties (including family members, friends, volunteers, etc.) however third-party callers will not receive counseling services. Applied Hotline Number for OPP Reporting: 504-717-2279