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Feb. 11 is 211 helpline day

211 helpOntario 211 helpline is asking Prince Edward County residents to make the right call

February 11 is 211 Day across north America.  211 Ontario helpline asks residents to call 2-1-1 for information on community, social and health services, municipal and Local Health Integration Network funded services like housing, employment and mental health and addiction agencies.

Calls to 911 are for threats or harm to a person or property that require police, fire or ambulance services.

“Knowing the right number to call will help residents find the right services for their situation and has the potential to reduce inappropriate calls to 911 from residents,” said Judi Gilbert, Executive Director of United Way of Quinte, in a statement.

“211 is an easy to remember phone number, like 911. 211 is answered by trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to support near them,” said Gilbert “211 has information not only on municipal social services but all our community, social, health and government programs.”

211 is answered live, 24-hours a day, every day of the year including holidays just like 911 is.

Residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 for services like food banks if they are hungry, mental health support if they are in crisis or for the non-emergency police number if they need the police but it is not an emergency.

“211 is your one stop shop to find services that are often provided by any of the three levels of government, charities and non-profits, organizations which cannot spend a lot on awareness and marketing,” said Gilbert. “Everything from finding the phone number for Telehealth Ontario, caregiver support to seniors programs to homework clubs. We do not provide information on businesses.”

211 service in Ontario is made possible through the support of local United Ways, municipalities and Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Ontario 211 Services, a non-profit agency with six full-time staff and a board of directors to govern 211 in Ontario. They work in collaboration with seven regional 211 service providers and a network of data contributors to deliver services though the phone and  online channels.

Call 2-1-1 for information about:
Walk in clinics
Caregiver support programs
Mental health help
Meals on Wheels
Emergency shelters
Services for domestic violence victims
Public health
Telehealth Ontario
Crisis services
Provincial and local helpline phone numbers
Settlement help for newcomers
Housing help centres
Youth drop in programs
Child, youth and family counselling
Emergency utility assistance
Government services and assistance
Disability support programs
Parenting programs

Call 9-1-1  when there’s:
Presence of smoke, fire or toxic fumes
Crime in progress or preventing a crime
Suspicious person
Child or elderly person missing
Personal injury
Pain or tightness in chest
Severe pain
Shortness of breath
A person choking or having difficulty breathing
Sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg,
trouble speaking or dizziness.
If your child has diarrheal and vomiting and won’t eat or drink
When a baby under six months has a fever over 38.5°C (101°F)

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