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United Way of Lancaster County


Pennsylvania launches ‘pep talk’ hotline featuring K-12 students

(Source: Pa. Dept. of Education)

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has launched a “pep talk” hotline that features encouragement from the state’s school students.

The hotline, “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania,” can be reached at (717) 772-4737. Menu options direct callers to pre-recorded messages of advice, encouragement and jokes from elementary, middle and high school students.

“The holiday season can be a time when people struggle with their mental health, and sometimes we can all use a little pick-me-up,” said Secretary of Education Khalid Mumin.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania” was developed to spread cheer, promote resiliency, and encourage self-care. Users of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life—both in the Commonwealth and beyond—are encouraged to call the line anytime they need a pep talk.”

For many people, the holiday season can bring on feelings of stress and sadness. Mental health experts recommend a range of strategies, including connecting with friends and community, supporting others, taking time for oneself and seeking professional help when necessary.

Lancaster County is part of the 988 hotline network for individuals in crisis, which offers mental health assistance from trained local responders. The county also offers a “warmline” at (717) 945-9976, for individuals who are not in crisis, but could still use a sympathetic ear.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated Jan. 3 to correct the phone number listed in the text.)