DHSS launches new Behavioral Treatment Referral Portal online

NEW CASTLE – The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announced Thursday the launch of a new online platform that allows Delawareans to find substance use disorder or mental health treatment services for themselves or a loved one.

DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) partnered with Appriss Health, a national technology company that provides solutions to health care entities and government agencies, to develop the online Behavioral Health Referral Portal for Delaware.

The new application – which can be accessed through HelpisHereDE.com and directly through Treatment Connection (www.treatmentconnection.com) – enables those seeking mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services to anonymously search for nearby providers, evaluate the type of care needed, and submit confidential online referral inquiries to appropriate treatment providers vetted by DHSS.

Delawareans needing support for mental health and substance use disorder challenges will have self-service access to:

  • A self-assessment tool to help determine the most appropriate level of treatment.
  • A searchable list of trusted treatment services and providers by ZIP code and distance.
  • Educational materials.
  • Contact information for providers with current treatment capacity.
  • Confidential communications with treatment providers about next steps.

“This is critical access for Delaware families who have long sought a way to connect online with substance use disorder and mental health providers about confidential treatment services for loved ones,” DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, having this virtual connection is even more important.”

Through August, Delaware’s Division of Forensic Science had reported 256 deaths from suspected overdoses in Delaware, an increase of about 32% from the same period in 2019.

In a study published in August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19 among U.S. adults. In the study, 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 26% reported symptoms of trauma or stressor-related disorder, 13% said they had started or increased substance use, and 11% reported having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior to the study.

“Time is of the essence,” said Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, who chairs the Behavorial Health Consortium. “We must do everything we can for individuals and families seeking help when they need it. Our focus has been to close gaps in services and provide choices for individuals in addressing their recovery needs.

“This virtual referral platform provides another level of care coordination to ensure Delawareans have recovery options to support a stronger and healthier Delaware.”

In addition to the new online portal, Delawareans can seek behavioral health support for themselves or their loved ones by:

  • Calling DHSS’ 24/7 Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE (1-833-946-7333) and talking with a trained professional.
  • Visiting one of DSAMH’s Bridge Clinics in person. For an appointment, call the New Castle County clinic at 302-255-1650; for Kent County, call 302-857-5060; for Sussex County, call 302-515-3310.
  • Talking with their doctor or another trusted health care professional.

DSAMH will provide behavioral health providers statewide with marketing materials to promote the new online service.