Statement issued Friday by the Indiana State Department of Health:
INDIANAPOLIS – Change has come for the Indiana Family Helpline (IFHL), a free comprehensive information and referral program operated by the Indiana State Department of Health. The phone number has been updated to help make it easier for callers to remember. The new toll-free number is 1-855-HELP-1ST (1-855-435-7178).
For more than 20 years, the IFHL has helped improve the lives of Indiana residents by offering referral assistance and support in efforts to promote self sufficiency and a better quality of life for all Hoosiers—individuals and families alike.
“The Indiana Family Helpline is there for Hoosiers with questions or issues on anything from pregnancy health care, to minority health services, emergency shelters, support groups, dental care services, substance abuse programs and many other services,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “Help is only a phone call away.”
The IFHL provides information, referrals and consumer education on a variety of topics related to callers’ social service needs. The IFHL can serve as a source of advocacy for callers who may struggle with meeting their needs on their own. In 2010, the IFHL responded to nearly 45,000 calls. Of those, 1,076 were advocacy calls. Almost 87,000 referrals were provided.
Since 1988, the IFHL has been recognized by its bright yellow rotary phone logo. With the activation of the new number, the logo for the Helpline has also gotten a new look.
“It is time to contemporize our logo and include a slogan to help people understand the purpose the Helpline serves,” said Dr. Larkin. “We’re hopeful that the new look and number will help more Hoosiers than ever to learn about the Helpline and make the call if they need to.”
A bilingual communication specialist available at all times for Spanish-speaking callers. For callers who may speak other languages, the IFHL has access to the AT&T Language Line. The IFHL is available Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
More information about the IFHL can be found on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.