Delaware Public Media

Coaching hotline planned for Delaware's mental health and substance abuse families

Mar 12, 2019

Delaware is planning to roll out a hotline to help coach families with loved ones who have substance abuse or mental health issues.

The state’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health is working with atTAcK Addiction and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to schedule a free training event for people who want to act as life coaches on the hotline.

“So that we’re able to give parents and family loved ones more evidence-based approaches to be able to communicate with the person they love and really think about different resources,” said DSAMH Director Elizabeth Romero. “Every time you have a conversation it doesn’t go exactly the way you thought. So having someone, a peer, that can help you is, we feel, very important”

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids operates a similar national hotline. Instructors from that group will train Delawareans in techniques like motivational interviewing.

“An approach where you’re not bringing judgment to the conversation,” said Romero. “But you’re really helping understand, ‘how can I help someone come to the realization of what they need?’ and identify that with them.”

The three-day training weekend begins March 29th at the Caravel Academy in Bear.

To be certified as a coach, participants must attend all three days and commit to coaching substance abuse and mental health family members once a week for five weeks afterward.

The hotline is expected to be up and running in April.